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Surprising mix of states losing their population of children

Alaska, Virginia and New York are among the states losing their population of children.

Alaska, Virginia and New York are among the states losing their population of children.

Both economically troubled states with declining overall populations and economically vibrant, business- and family-friendly states appear on a recently released Wall Street 24/7 list of states that had significant declines in their population of children between 2001 and 2009.

Despite overall population growth of 13.3 percent, Alaska tops the list, with a 15.36 percent relative decrease in population under 15-years-old. Wall Street 24/7 surmised this is because the high cost of living makes it a hard place to raise a family, but well-paying energy industry jobs attract single workers.

High cost of living also explains other states on the list, including Hawaii (5) and New York (7). The decline in family population can be linked to high unemployment or generally troubled economies in other locations, such as South Carolina (10), New Hampshire (8), Rhode Island (4) and California (3).

Two states stand out as surprises: Maryland (2) and Virginia (9). Wall Street 24/7 noted there are plenty of reasons why relocation to these states would be attractive to families, including low unemployment and good schools. High income tax might be one reason for the diminished population of children in these states.

Families moving to Maryland or Virginia can turn to another list for solace. Parenting Magazine recently named Washington, D.C., nestled between the two states, the best city in the country for raising kids.