These Are The Best & Worst Cities for Single Moms, Based On 17 Different Metrics

Moving to a new city on your own is difficult in its own right. It’s even harder when you’re also a mother. However, this new analysis on the best and worst cities for single moms to live might be helpful for any single mothers looking to relocate.

The analysis was done in 2016 by WalletHub, a website on personal finance. While not conclusive on every city in America, the analysis looks at the 150 largest cities in the United States. To rank the cities, WalletHub weighted 17 different metrics related to the economic and social well-being of single mothers as well as child-friendly environments. The analysis considered things like housing affordability, financial security, and access to adequate childcare in a city when creating their list. Each city had a possible score of 100.

Number one of their list? Scottsdale, Arizona. Receiving a total score of 65.94, Scottsdale fared the best against the metrics WalletHub used. The worst? San Bernardino, California with a score of 35.31. You can check out the full list here and see how your city ranked.

You can also see which five cities fared the best and worst against 11 of the different metrics used. Pembroke Pines, Florida has the lowest percentage of single moms with underage children in poverty. Detroit, Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio are tied for the highest percentage. The percentage of single moms of underage children in poverty is four times higher in Detroit and Cincinnati than in Pembroke Pines.


A Pew Research Study from 2014 found that 34 percent of kids live in a single-parent household. The majority of those single-parent households are headed by single mothers. According to the Census Bureau, almost 81 percent of single parents are mothers. In the US, single mothers are twice as likely to live in poverty than single fathers and five times more likely to live in poverty than married couples.

Because of those facts, living in a place that is affordable and where there are stronger job opportunities is even more crucial for single mothers. Per WalletHub’s analysis of 150 cities, here are the ten best and worst cities to live in if you’re a single mother.

10 Best Cities for Single Moms (starting with the highest scoring city)

  1. Scottsdale, AZ
  2. Madison, WI
  3. Fremont, CA
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Pembroke Pines, FL
  7. Irvine, CA
  8. Honolulu, HI
  9. Sioux Falls, SD
  10. Overland Park, KS

10 Worst Cities for Single Moms (starting with the lowest scoring city)

  1. San Bernardino, CA
  2. Fresno, CA
  3. Detroit, M
  4. Stockton, CA
  5. Los Angeles, CA
  6. Newark, NJ
  7. Laredo, TX
  8. North Las Vegas, NV
  9. Santa Ana, CA
  10. Oxnard, CA