Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kids Count findings

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book was released today. It has found 18% of the nation's children live in poverty. The Washington Post published a blog summary on the report's findings.

Even before the U.S. economic troubles of the late 1990s, the child poverty rate had increased in this decade, affecting nearly one-fifth of American kids, according to a new report released today on the well-being of American kids.

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book compiled by the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation and released today also shows the following:

*New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Vermont rank highest in child well-being across a number of indicators.

*Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi rank the lowest.

The report, using the latest available information, says that the rate of children living in poverty in 2008 was 18 percent, indicating that 1 million more children were living in poverty in that year than in 2000. Experts project that more up-to-date census data will show child poverty climbing to above 20 percent.

The report shows improvements in these areas: infant mortality rate (down 3 percent from 2000 to 2007); child death rate (down 14 percent down from 2000 to 2007); teen death rate (down 7 percent from 2000 to 2007); and teen birth rate (down 10 percent from 2000 to 2007); and the percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates (down 45 percent from 2000 to 2008).

Three areas worsened: the percentage of low-birth-weight babies (up 8 percent from 2000 to 2007); the child poverty rate; and the percentage of children living in single-parent families (up 3 percent from 2000 to 2008).

*The six states with the biggest improvements in their rankings between 2000-2007 (health data) and 2000-2008 (economic data) are New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon and Wyoming.

* The five states with the biggest drop in rankings between 2000-2007 and 2000-2008 are Montana, South Dakota, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center provides online access to the latest child well-being data on hundreds of indicators by state, county, city and school district.

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