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The Best and Worst States to Raise Your Kids: Does Yours Make the List?

Say what you will about the Snooki’s crew and their table-flipping neighbors — it turns out New Jersey is the best state to raise children. And yes, we’re totally serious.

The Foundation For Child Development released its annual Child Well Being Index (CWI), a report rating states in as many of the seven domains that the CWI considers relevant factors, such as family economic well-being, health, education attainment, and social relationships.

So which states joined Jersey as the best of all 50? The top six that had the highest child well-being scores were Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Utah, Connecticut, Minnesota, and, of course, Jersey baby!

Now for the not-so-great news: The lowest scoring states were Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada, and Arizona.

Coming in at 50th out of all 50 states was New Mexico — it might have delicious food and gorgeous landscape, but its kiddo conditions showed it coming in dead last. And while the South may rise again, we’re still waiting on that. After all, the data showed that the states in the South and Southwest did poorly when it came to overall ranking, while the North and Northeast proved to have pretty awesome scores.

Despite the rankings, it should be noted that 33 out of 50 states showed improved child well being in past years, so things are looking up across the country for our kids, although Connecticut, South Dakota, Kansas, and Maine deteriorated a bit during the same timeframe.

Source: Foundation For Child Development

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04.12.2013 / 06:22 AM EDT by Jo Aaron
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