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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're raising daughters, you might have an easier time if you live in the Midwest, Northeast or Mid-Atlantic regions.

A recent report by the Girl Scout Research Institute titled "The State of Girls: Thriving Or Surviving?" ranks the best and worst states for young girls to grow up in. The index of girls' well-being is a calculation of five indicators: physical health and safety, emotional health, economic well-being, education, and extracurricular and out-of-school time activity, according to Kamla Modi, Ph.D., senior researcher for the Girl Scout Research Institute.

"These five indicators, when calculated together, form a cohesive story about the measure of how girls are faring," Modi says.

For example, a number of research studies on youth have shown a correlation between participation in extracurricular activities and educational success metrics, such as lower high school dropout, greater college attendance and higher grades, Modi explains. Modi says extracurricular participation "presents a needed balance that supplements the curriculum learned in the classroom."

The Girl Scout study's methodology is based on national data sources, such as the U.S. Census, the Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and the National Center for Education Statistics.

"The findings in this report are compelling; in the United States, where girls live matters," the report emphasizes.

Click through to see which are the top 10 states for young girls.


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10. Utah

This state places second for extracurricular activities, with 84% of girls ages 6 to 17 participating in at least one. About 41% of 3- to 4-year-old girls are enrolled in preschool.

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9. New Jersey

New Jersey ranks third in the U.S. when it comes to education. About 46% of fourth-grade girls are proficient in reading and 46% of eighth-grade girls are proficient in math. Preschool enrollment is at 63% for 3- to 4-year-old girls.

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8. Virginia

In Virginia, 43% of fourth-grade girls are proficient in reading. About 46% of 3- to 4-year-old girls are enrolled in preschool.

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7. Minnesota

About 89% of girls ages 6 to 17 participate in at least one extracurricular activity in Minnesota. Roughly 48% of eighth-grade girls are proficient in math.

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6. Connecticut

In this state, 88% of girls ages 6 to 17 participate in at least one extracurricular activity. Roughly 46% of fourth-grade girls are proficient in reading and 37% of eighth-grade girls are proficient in math.

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5. Vermont

Vermont places second for physical health and safety. About 8% of girls ages 6 to 17 have experienced neighborhood violence. Roughly 92% of girls ages 6 to 17 participate in at least one extracurricular activity.

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4. Massachusetts

Extracurricular participation for girls ages 6 to 17 is as high as 87% in Massachusetts. In this state, about 54% of fourth-grade girls are proficient in reading and 51% of eighth-grade girls are proficient in math. However, 12% of girls in Massachusetts have reported needing treatment for an emotional, behavioral or developmental issue, compared to 11% in New Hampshire and 8% in North Dakota.

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3. South Dakota

South Dakota takes the helm for emotional health, based on the Girl Scout Research Institute's well-being index. About 88% of girls ages 6 to 17 participate in at least one extracurricular activity. Only 4% of girls ages 6 to 17 need treatment for emotional, behavioral or developmental issues, compared to the U.S. national average of 9%.

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2. North Dakota

This state ranked first for economic well-being, based on an index calculated by the Girl Scouts Research Institute made up of four indicators: girls in poverty, girls in single-parent families, girls without health insurance and girls who are disconnected from work and school. North Dakota also outperforms in extracurricular activities, with about 88% of girls ages 6 to 17 participating in at least one extracurricular activity, such as a sport like softball or soccer or volunteering.

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1. New Hampshire

Girls living in New Hampshire excel when it comes to participation in extracurricular activities, with roughly 91% of girls ages 6 to 17 participating in at least one, according to the CDC's 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health.