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Best (and Worst) States for Work-Life Balance

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It’s not easy to find balance in this fast-paced world. With technology like email and social media right at your fingertips, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to separate your work and home lives — and poor work-life balance is affecting Americans more than you think. The Harvard Business Review found that employee burnout accounts for $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare spending. And 12% of employee turnover in 2018 was caused by a lack of work-life balance, according to the Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report. It was the second-most popular response cited in the report, increasing by 20% since 2013.

To find out which states offer better work-life balance for Americans, GOBankingRates analyzed several factors across residents in every state, including average number of hours worked, mean commute time, overall well-being, cost of living and more. Well-being was assessed using Gallup data, which ranks each state on a well-being index. Cost of living was also scored on an index by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, with 100 set as the nationwide average; if a state’s cost-of-living score is under 100, it’s cheaper to live there compared to the rest of America.

One state in the West earned No. 1 in the ranking thanks to its high labor force participation rate and considerably low unemployment rate. In fact, many of the highest-ranking states are located in the Western and Midwestern regions of the country. You’ll find that it’s typically much easier to juggle your home life and career in the best places in the U.S. for work-life balance.

Last updated: Dec. 18, 2019

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Utah

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 37.1
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 22
  • Labor force participation rate: 68.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 5
  • Cost-of-living index: 98.8
  • Median household income: $71,414

Check Out: The Highest-Paying Work-From-Home Jobs

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Montana

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.1
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 18.6
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 4
  • Cost-of-living index: 103.6
  • Median household income: $55,328

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Minnesota

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.8
  • Labor force participation rate: 69.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Well-being index rank: 12
  • Cost-of-living index: 106.3
  • Median household income: $70,315

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Vermont

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 37.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.6
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 7
  • Cost-of-living index: 111.1
  • Median household income: $60,782

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South Dakota

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 17.3
  • Labor force participation rate: 68.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 3%
  • Well-being index rank: 9
  • Cost-of-living index: 99.2
  • Median household income: $56,274

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Iowa

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 19.5
  • Labor force participation rate: 66.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Well-being index rank: 26
  • Cost-of-living index: 97.8
  • Median household income: $59,955

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New Hampshire

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 27.6
  • Labor force participation rate: 67%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Well-being index rank: 11
  • Cost-of-living index: 102.7
  • Median household income: $74,991

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Nebraska

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.5
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 18.8
  • Labor force participation rate: 69.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 18
  • Cost-of-living index: 98.1
  • Median household income: $59,566

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Idaho

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.5
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 21
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 4%
  • Well-being index rank: 22
  • Cost-of-living index: 92.6
  • Median household income: $55,583

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Colorado

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.2
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25.9
  • Labor force participation rate: 68.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 6
  • Cost-of-living index: 96.3
  • Median household income: $71,953

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Connecticut

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.2
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 26.8
  • Labor force participation rate: 66%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 16
  • Cost-of-living index: 108.4
  • Median household income: $76,348

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Massachusetts

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.1
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 30.5
  • Labor force participation rate: 66.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 17
  • Cost-of-living index: 113.7
  • Median household income: $79,835

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Maine

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 24.1
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 21
  • Cost-of-living index: 108.9
  • Median household income: $55,602

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Oregon

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 37.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.8
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 5%
  • Well-being index rank: 28
  • Cost-of-living index: 114.7
  • Median household income: $63,426

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Wisconsin

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.8
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 22
  • Labor force participation rate: 66%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 39
  • Cost-of-living index: 96.9
  • Median household income: $60,773

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Rhode Island

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 25
  • Cost-of-living index: 105
  • Median household income: $64,340

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North Dakota

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 40.4
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 17.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 69.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 10
  • Cost-of-living index: 105.4
  • Median household income: $63,837

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Kansas

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.2
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 19.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 66.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 35
  • Cost-of-living index: 93.3
  • Median household income: $58,218

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Wyoming

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 40.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 16.2
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 3
  • Cost-of-living index: 102.7
  • Median household income: $61,584

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Hawaii

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 27.6
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 1
  • Cost-of-living index: 160.8
  • Median household income: $80,212

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Washington

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.7
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 28.4
  • Labor force participation rate: 64.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Well-being index rank: 13
  • Cost-of-living index: 108.1
  • Median household income: $74,073

Related: 101 Side Business Ideas and How To Start Without Quitting Your Job

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Michigan

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 24.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 61.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.3%
  • Well-being index rank: 33
  • Cost-of-living index: 87.8
  • Median household income: $56,697

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California

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 30.2
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 14
  • Cost-of-living index: 117.9
  • Median household income: $75,277

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Nevada

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.8
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 24.9
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.6%
  • Well-being index rank: 19
  • Cost-of-living index: 95.1
  • Median household income: $58,646

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Ohio

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.6
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 38
  • Cost-of-living index: 98.2
  • Median household income: $56,111

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Virginia

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.2
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 28.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.4%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 27
  • Cost-of-living index: 96.7
  • Median household income: $72,577

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Indiana

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.9
  • Labor force participation rate: 64%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.4%
  • Well-being index rank: 41
  • Cost-of-living index: 90.6
  • Median household income: $55,746

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Arizona

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.8
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 59.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.4%
  • Well-being index rank: 15
  • Cost-of-living index: 99.9
  • Median household income: $59,246

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Delaware

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.8
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 26.4
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.7%
  • Well-being index rank: 8
  • Cost-of-living index: 121.2
  • Median household income: $64,805

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New Jersey

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.7
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 32.4
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 31
  • Cost-of-living index: 109.6
  • Median household income: $81,740

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Missouri

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 24
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 40
  • Cost-of-living index: 99.1
  • Median household income: $54,478

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Pennsylvania

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.7
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 27.2
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 34
  • Cost-of-living index: 103.3
  • Median household income: $60,905

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New Mexico

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23
  • Labor force participation rate: 56.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.1%
  • Well-being index rank: 30
  • Cost-of-living index: 101.4
  • Median household income: $47,169

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Illinois

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 29.4
  • Labor force participation rate: 65.4%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 42
  • Cost-of-living index: 97
  • Median household income: $65,030

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Maryland

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 33.3
  • Labor force participation rate: 67.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 32
  • Cost-of-living index: 118.8
  • Median household income: $83,242

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Florida

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 28
  • Labor force participation rate: 58.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 20
  • Cost-of-living index: 104.1
  • Median household income: $55,462

Learn: 16 Ways To Teach Your Kid Healthy Work-Life Balance Lessons Every Day

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North Carolina

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 24.8
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.4%
  • Unemployment rate: 5%
  • Well-being index rank: 36
  • Cost-of-living index: 98.5
  • Median household income: $53,855

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Kentucky

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.9
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 23.5
  • Labor force participation rate: 59.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.2%
  • Well-being index rank: 48
  • Cost-of-living index: 93.2
  • Median household income: $50,247

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New York

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 38.4
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 34
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 5%
  • Well-being index rank: 37
  • Cost-of-living index: 112.6
  • Median household income: $67,844

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Georgia

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.4
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 29
  • Labor force participation rate: 63.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 23
  • Cost-of-living index: 99.2
  • Median household income: $58,756

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South Carolina

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25.1
  • Labor force participation rate: 60.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.3%
  • Well-being index rank: 39
  • Cost-of-living index: 101.6
  • Median household income: $52,306

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Texas

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 40
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 26.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 64.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Well-being index rank: 29
  • Cost-of-living index: 89.5
  • Median household income: $60,629

Find Out: How Arianna Huffington and Other CEOs Maintain Work-Life Balance

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Oklahoma

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.8
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 22.1
  • Labor force participation rate: 61.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.4%
  • Well-being index rank: 45
  • Cost-of-living index: 94.9
  • Median household income: $51,924

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Arkansas

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.6
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 21.7
  • Labor force participation rate: 57.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 49
  • Cost-of-living index: 90.3
  • Median household income: $47,062

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Tennessee

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.3
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25.4
  • Labor force participation rate: 61.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%
  • Well-being index rank: 46
  • Cost-of-living index: 94.3
  • Median household income: $52,375

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Alabama

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25.2
  • Labor force participation rate: 56.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.6%
  • Well-being index rank: 44
  • Cost-of-living index: 95.9
  • Median household income: $49,861

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Alaska

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 41.7
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 19.1
  • Labor force participation rate: 67.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 3
  • Cost-of-living index: 132.9
  • Median household income: $74,346

Read More: 46% of Americans Need a Side Hustle Just To Cover Basic Expenses

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West Virginia

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.2
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 26.5
  • Labor force participation rate: 53%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.8%
  • Well-being index rank: 50
  • Cost-of-living index: 91.1
  • Median household income: $44,097

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Louisiana

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.7
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 26.3
  • Labor force participation rate: 58.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.4%
  • Well-being index rank: 43
  • Cost-of-living index: 97.6
  • Median household income: $47,905

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Mississippi

  • Average number of hours worked per week: 39.4
  • Mean travel time to work (in minutes): 25
  • Labor force participation rate: 56.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%
  • Well-being index rank: 47
  • Cost-of-living index: 94.2
  • Median household income: $44,717

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the best and worst states for work-life balance by analyzing all 50 U.S. states along the following criteria: (1) average number of hours worked per week, (2) mean travel time to work in minutes, (3) labor force participation rate, (4) unemployment rate, and (5) median household income, all sourced from the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey; (6) well-being index rank, sourced from Gallup’s 2018 Wellbeing Index survey; and (7) cost-of-living index, sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s Cost of Living Index Composite for the third quarter of 2019. Each factor was scored, added up and ranked from best to worst. Average number of hours worked per week and mean travel time were weighted more than the other factors in final scoring. All data used to conduct this ranking was compiled and verified on Dec. 3, 2019.