Brief

This brief provides highlights from the comprehensive 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book. It calls on federal, state and local officials to create more robust data systems to measure and track child and family well-being and to evaluate the policies and programs that serve them. The brief also provides a summary chart of national and state data on 10 indicators that reflect a range of factors affecting child well-being.

January 1, 2009

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Why it's imperative to improve our nation's capacity for collecting and analyzing data on child and family well-being and for measuring the performance of policies and programs that serve the most vulnerable.

  2. 2

    How the KIDS COUNT data center has improved data collection.

  3. 3

    How to access the KIDS COUNT Data Center to find national, state and local data on children and families; create customized maps and graphs; and to compare or rank different geographic areas on child well-being.

  4. 4

    How the states rank on overall child well-being and each of the 10 indicators that comprise the composite index.

Key Takeaway

The nation needs to invest in high-quality information and data systems to inform decision making.

For policymakers to effectively improve results for children, the nation needs to invest in high-quality information and data systems that can be used to inform decision making and to assess the results of programs and policies that serve vulnerable children and families. The most highly ranked states on child-being are located primarily in the New England and Northern Plains states, while the lowest ranked states are clustered in the Southeast and Southwest.

Statements & Quotations