If you want your kids to be healthy, stable, and happy, raise them in one of these states

Students from a Spanish immersion classroom wait for the end of recess at Escondido Elementary School in Palo Alto, Calif., Tuesday, March 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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Part of the American dream is raising happy, healthy children who grow up to become successful and productive members of society.

As parents, we want to give our kids the very best, so it’s important to create nurturing environments. According to a new study, some places are better for that than others.

WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine which are best (and worst) for raising children.

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The publication considered several factors to rank each state by “family fun,” “health & safety,” “education & child care,” “affordability,” and “socioeconomics.”

New England and the Heartland fared well, with several states from both regions placing comfortably in the top 10. The bottom 10 is made up primarily of states in the Southeast and Southwest.

North Dakota took the list’s coveted number one spot. It ranked in the top five for highest median family salary (#5), most affordable housing (#3), lowest percent of families below poverty level (#4), and lowest divorce rate (#2).

The worst state for raising a family, according to WalletHub, is New Mexico. While the Land of Enchantment ranked in the top half for “family fun” (#18), it came in dead last for “affordability,” and was #50 in both “education & child care” and “socioeconomics.” It also fared poorly on lowest violent-crime rate (#48) and lowest percent of families below poverty level (#50).

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The top 10 includes:

1. North Dakota
2. New Hampshire
3. Vermont
4. Minnesota
5. Nebraska
6. Massachusetts
7. New Jersey
8. Iowa
9. Connecticut
10. South Dakota

And the bottom 10:

42. Alabama
43. West Virginia
44. Georgia
45. Arizona
46. Alaska
47. Nevada
48. Louisiana
49. District of Columbia
50. Mississippi
51. New Mexico

For those who are and choose to remain child-free, the five states with the fewest families with kids are:

1. West Virginia
2. Florida
3. Maine
4. Hawaii
5. Delaware

But for those who want their rugrats to be surrounded by peers, these states have the most families with children:

1. Utah
2. Alaska
3. Texas
4. California
5. Colorado

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(H/T: Business Insider)

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