See Rankings: Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book
This year’s Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Book describes the progression of child well-being in the U.S. before COVID-19. The KIDS COUNT Data Book includes annual state rankings and the most recent data on child well-being, and also compares statistics from 2010 to 2018. This information can be used to help shape the work of policymakers, researchers and advocates in order to build a stronger future for children, families and communities.
Trends Prior to the Pandemic
The Annie E. Casey Foundation shares that “data over a recent period of eight or so years reveal encouraging trends in child well-being nationally, with improvements documented in 11 out of the 16 indicators.”
They also share that, in 2018, more parents were fiscally secure and lived without the financial burden of housing. In the same study, more teens graduated from high school and delayed childbearing, and children’s health insurance coverage continued.
“Children worldwide experienced gains in the Economic Well-Being domain and promising-but-mixed results in the Health, Education, and Family and Community domains,” AECF says. “The positive strides realized — driven by effective policies and achieved before the coronavirus pandemic — serve as an encouraging reminder that the nation can advance the substantial work now needed to improve the prospects of its youngest generation.”
The Annie E. Casey Foundation notes that New England states currently hold two of the top three spots for overall child well-being. Massachusetts ranks first, followed by New Hampshire and Minnesota. Louisiana (48th), Mississippi (49th) and New Mexico (50th) are the three lowest-ranked states.
States in Appalachia, as well as the Southeast and Southwest, are at the bottom of the rankings. In fact, except for California and Alaska, the 18 lowest-ranked states are in these regions.
Racial Inequities in Child Well-Being
According to the data, the nation’s racial prejudices were evident during this reporting period, as the United States failed to provide children of color with the support they needed to thrive while states tried to dismantle the barriers many of these children faced.
African-American children were more likely to live in single-parent families and low-income neighborhoods. American Indian children were almost three times more likely to not have health insurance and live in resource-limited neighborhoods. Lastly, Latino children ran the greatest risk of not attending school and living with adults who didn’t graduate high school.
Read the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book to see your state’s trends and where it ranks!