Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A new Kids Count report for Maine

A new Kids Count report for the state of Maine finds an increase in the number of children living in poverty. The report from the Maine Children's Alliance also found an increase in children smoking tobacco cigarettes.

From Maine Public Broadcasting, this Associated Press story gives us the new statistics.

The percentage of Maine kids living in poverty rose to nearly 22 percent in 2008, up from 19.4 percent the year before. That's according to the latest annual "Kids Count" report released today at a State House news conference by the Maine Children's Alliance. Moreover, the Alliance says, 38 percent of all Maine children are living in low-income households.

The Alliance's President Dean Crocker says that's a major cause for concern. "Childhood poverty is strongly associated with many problems in later life, including low achievement in school, chronic health problems, and arrests for criminal offenses," he says in a statement.

The report also found that there are about 17,000 children in Maine without health insurance, though the state's 6 percent uninsured rate for kids is still half the national rate of 12 percent.

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