The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance
The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance

A new ranking has revealed which states are currently the best and worst for work-life balancem with New Hampshire named the ideal place for following a healthy work routine. 

The research, conducted by tech experts Hostinger, compared each state’s working hours, occupational stress levels, current living wage, average salary, and retirement savings guidelines to reveal where’s best at prioritizing wellness - and where needs extra help. 

Each state was then assigned a score out of ten based on how they performed across each metric - with New Hampshire taking the top spot as the best place for work-life harmony. 

‘The Granite State’ scored an impressive 8.6 out of ten overall after performing particularly well for annual salary, occupational stress, and the average hours spent at work each week. 

Based on data from the World Population Review, New Hampshire holds a ‘2023 stress score’ of 35 when work-related anxiety and money-related concerns are accounted for. This is two-fifths (40%) less than the worst-scoring state Mississippi scored (58.8). 

The typical worker also puts in 37.2 weekly work hours, or 1,934 per year. This means it ranks 7th as one of the top ten states that spend the least time working, with Alaska top. 

Despite workers spending less time at work than in other areas, they still benefit from a solid household salary of $82.5k - the highest of any state in America. When measured against New Hampshire’s typical work schedule, this equals an impressive $43 per hour. 

Perhaps most importantly, the state also ranked top for how far the typical salary goes compared to the current cost of living, as workers make more than double the current living wage of $36k, meaning they’re less likely to need a second job to make ends meet.

However, the category that the state could improve is retirement expectations, as the typical worker needs $946,850 in savings (Bureau of Labor Statistics). While this isn’t as high as elsewhere - such as Hawaii at $1.84 million - it’s more than in Mississippi at $617.6k. 

Joining New Hampshire as one of the best states for a healthy work-life balance is Utah, scoring 8.2 /10. The state also performed well for occupational stress (34) and salary ($75.5k per household - working out at double the state’s current living wage of $35k). 

The Ten Best States for Work-Life Balance

The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance
The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance

Overall, the areas that the nation performed best in came out as weekly working hours, as the typical worker puts in 40 - adhering to US labor law’s definition of full-time hours.

Meanwhile, the area that most states in the nation need to improve in was how their average salary translates to the effort put in at work, as the average person’s wage translates to $31 an hour. While this is four times the federal minimum wage, it could be significantly higher.

The Ten Worst States for Work-Life Balance

The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance
The Best and Worst States for Work-Life Balance

On the other end of the scale, the state that performed the poorest for work-life harmony is Louisiana - largely due to how the average salary translates to effort they put in at work.

Compared to New Hampshire, the typical Louisianan’s salary of $29k translates to $22 for each hour they put in at work (44.3), which is a difference of 95%. 

The majority of the worst-ranking states were let down by the high retirement saving expectations for their workers, with Hawaii ranking top for the highest sum needed to stop working at $1.84 million. In comparison, Mississippi requires only $617.7k - 66% less.

These high retirement costs can often cause people to overwork themselves in order to reduce the long-term financial burden - while sacrificing their current day-to-day wellbeing. 

Speaking on the findings, Emma Young, Content Manager at Hostinger, said: “Whiel Americans will no doubt consider a variety of factors when deciding where to work, these often focus more on ROI - like salary and benefits - rather than their day-to-day wellbeing.

“This can leave many workers taking on high-intensity jobs that do improve their long-term financial burden and prospects, but that also make their day-to-day lives more stressful than they need to be. It’s important to prioritize the now as well as the future, although it’s hard.”


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