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7. South Dakota

2012 Quality of Life Points: 247 out of 350
2011 Quality of Life Rank: 5

Looking for the freshest air in the country? Then, head to the Mount Rushmore State, which offers a practically pristine environment. Crime is low; livability is high. Despite the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Badlands National Park, South Dakota lags many states when it comes to recreational areas, but overall quality of life is not bad at all.

Photo: Lyle Leduc | Workbook Stock | Getty Images