Where to Live if You Want Better Work-Life Balance

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Better Balance

From "quiet quitting" to digital nomads, today's employees are increasingly choosing a balanced life over "living to work." And where you live can have a huge effect on that balance. Remote, a global employment company, just released a study that reveals the top 10 states for balancing life and work.

The site created an index data analysis that took into account the following in each state: healthcare, minimum wage, maternity leave, statutory annual leave, sick pay, average hours worked per week, overall happiness levels, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Would you move to one of these states for better balance in your life? Tell us in the comments.

Related: Expert Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance While Working from Home

Zakim Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts

No. 10: Massachusetts

Overall index score: 52.99

With its minimum wage of $15, the state has the the third-highest minimum wage in the country, more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25. With its plethora of universities (including Harvard), the Bay State can boast of having a highly educated population. Residents here tend to work a bit more than in some other states on the list, 41 hours per week, but there's a minimum of five paid sick days a year.

Related: Which State Has the Highest (and Lowest) Minimum Wage? 

Drone Shot of Harbor in Rockland, Maine

No. 9: Maine

Overall index score: 55.66

Maine got a perfect score for LQBTQ+ inclusivity. The state has a decent minimum wage of $13.80, and five days of sick pay with workers averaging some 40.1 hours a week. 

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Montpelier, Vermont Skyline

No. 8: Vermont

Overall index score: 58.02

Vermont residents work to live — their average work week is 38 hours, shortest in the top 10, and one of the shortest in the country. The state also offers five days of statutory sick pay.  

Sunrise at Portland, Oregon
Shunyu Fan/istockphoto

No. 7: Oregon

Overall index score: 58.47

Live in Oregon if you want to work less; workers in the state average about 38.3 hours of work per week — 6% fewer than the rest of the country. The state also scores high marks for LGBTQ+ friendliness.

Related: 12 Small Towns Known for Being LGBTQ-Friendly

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

No. 6: New Jersey

Overall index score: 59.22

New Jersey is the only state in the U.S. to offer 24 weeks of paid maternity leave — no other state offers more than 12. The state's minimum wage just rose to $14.13.

Springtime in Providence, Rhode Island

No. 5: Rhode Island

Overall index score: 59.52

The small state has 13 weeks of maternity leave‚ but no statutory maternity pay. The average work-week length is 38.6 hours — 5% shorter than the national average.

Sunset over water in Marina del Rey, CA
Lisa Bronitt/istockphoto

No. 4: California

Overall index score: 61.26

California offers a minimum wage of $15.50 per hour in 2023.  It's also the only state that gives more than five days of minimum statutory sick pay. Golden State workers can expect six paid sick days.

Related: Here's Where You Can Work 4 Days a Week or Less 

The skyline of New York City, United States

No. 3: New York

Overall index score: 62.75

The state is in the top 10 for statutory sick day entitlement, and offers 12 weeks of statutory maternity leave. New York also receives high scores for LGBTQ+ rights.

Downtown Seattle Skyline USA Space Needle

No. 2: Washington

Overall index score: 62.79

This state is said to have the largest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent in the U.S. Washington-based workers are paid a minimum wage of $15.74 in 2023 — edging out California for the No. 1 spot. It's also one of seven states without a personal income tax. 

Skyline of Hartford Connecticut on a beautiful sunny day

No. 1: Connecticut

Overall index score: 66.86

Head to New England, specifically Connecticut, if you want better work-life balance. The state received high marks due to a solid minimum wage of $14 per hour, which is nearly twice the federal minimum wage. Connecticut offers 12 weeks of statutory maternity leave, and there are only two states (New Jersey and Rhode Island) that offer more. It's the only state with a maternity payment rate of 95% of a worker's wage. 

Related: 20 Things You Never Knew About New England