Gee, I'd almost forgotten that this is the week leading up to Father's Day. I'm always hip to the fact that Mother's Day is on the horizon, but for whatever reason--probably because as the dad in my house I'm not expected to contribute to Father's Day planning--the celebration of fatherhood often slips my mind until I'm buried in cards and neckties.

Here's a an early gift to you working dads out there ("gift" is perhaps too generous, maybe "fun fact" would be more appropriate): you're living and working in a state that takes pretty good care of a category of employed individuals called "working dads."

Personal finance site WalletHub, constantly running and crunching numbers about life in the U.S., took a look at the best and worst states in which to be a working dad, and they found that Illinois is doing pretty okay in that department.

Here's what WalletHub looked at:

Regardless of the changing identity and priorities of the modern dad, fatherhood remains an undisputedly tough job. And a father’s ability to provide for his family is central to his role. In fact, nearly 93 percent of dads with kids younger than 18 are employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some working dads — those who live in states where economic opportunity abounds and quality of life is emphasized —have it better than others.

In order to determine the best states for men who play a dual role of parent and provider, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia across 22 key indicators of friendliness toward working fathers. Our data set ranges from average length of work day for males to child-care costs to share of men in good or better health.

Let's look at the top 5 best states for working dads first:

1) Connecticut

2) Minnesota

3) Vermont

4) Massachusetts

5) New Jersey

The bottom 5 states next:

47) Louisiana

48) New Mexico

49) West Virginia

50) Nevada

51) Mississippi

As for our state of Illinois, we come in at the #14 spot. Here's a breakdown of some of our numbers:

Life as a Working Dad in Illinois (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
5th – Median Family* Income (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
25th – Male Life Expectancy
26th – % of Kids Younger than 18 with Dad Present Living in Poverty
25th – Male Uninsured Rate
16th – Avg. Length of Work Day (in Hours) for Males
21st – % of Physically Active Men
28th – Child-Care Costs (Adjusted for Median Family* Income)
7th – Day-Care Quality
*Refers to families with kids aged 0 to 17 and in which the father is present

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