Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2009 Kids Count Report released

The Annie E Casey Foundation has released their yearly roundup of child well being in the states, called the "2009 Kids Count Report"

The latest statistics in this report are from 2007 so most of the effects of the global recession are not yet factored into this report. However, our home state of Michigan; that basically had a one-state recession before all others joined us, had a sharp increase in children living in poverty.

From the Washington Times article on the report, writer Carol Morello breaks down the report. For all of the stats and graphs, go to the Kids Count Data Center provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

"Our take-away is that even going into the recession, the economic outlook for a lot of families was dire," said Laura Beavers, the national Kids Count coordinator. "There was a flattening of the median income, and the poverty level was creeping up year after year."

Some regional differences stood out. States in New England and the Northern Plains all scored relatively high in an overall composite of the 10 indicators. And the 10 states with the lowest rankings were all in the South or Southwest.

Both Virginia and Maryland declined in the 50-state rankings. Virginia slipped from 15th to 16th, and Maryland slid from 19th to 25th. The District was not ranked because it's a city, but it saw improvements almost across the board; the percentage of children living in poverty, for example, decreased from 30 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2007. The decline might be a reflection of poor families being priced out of gentrifying neighborhoods.

In an ominous harbinger of the future, states that were roiled by economic difficulties early in the decade saw the dramatic effect a worsening economy has on children.

In Michigan, for example, the rate of children living in poverty rose by more than a third, from 14 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2007. In Ohio, the number went up by almost a fifth in the same period, from 16 percent to 19 percent.

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