Comparing First to Last in the Economic Well-Being Ranks

Posted June 22, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog comparingfirsttolast 2017

Four out of the last five years, the KIDS COUNT Data Book has ranked North Dako­ta first and Mis­sis­sip­pi last in eco­nom­ic well-being.

These rank­ings sug­gest con­trast­ing land­scapes of eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty and sta­bil­i­ty, and the new Data Book — released in June 2017 — reaf­firms clear sta­tis­ti­cal dif­fer­ences between the two states.

North Dako­ta has the sec­ond low­est child pover­ty rate in the coun­try. It is also the state where kids are least like­ly to live with high hous­ing cost bur­dens or inse­cure parental employment.

In com­par­i­son, Mis­sis­sip­pi has the high­est child pover­ty rate in the coun­try. It is also one of just four states — join­ing Ari­zona, Louisiana and New Mex­i­co — where at least 20% of chil­dren live in con­cen­trat­ed poverty.

What the raw rates don’t reveal is that Mis­sis­sip­pi improved across all four eco­nom­ic well-being cat­e­gories from 2010 to 2015.

To main­tain this momen­tum, Mis­sis­sip­pi law­mak­ers could adopt a state-fund­ed earned income tax cred­it, which is a proven strat­e­gy for lift­ing work­ing fam­i­lies out of pover­ty. In 2016, 26 states plus the Dis­trict of Colom­bia had active state-lev­el earned income tax credits.

More on the KIDS COUNT Data Book

The annu­al KIDS COUNT Data Book uses 16 indi­ca­tors to rank each state across four domains — health, edu­ca­tion, eco­nom­ic well-being, and fam­i­ly and community.

The 2017 Data Books eco­nom­ic well-being sec­tion explores state and nation­al trends in the areas of child pover­ty, fam­i­ly employ­ment, hous­ing costs and whether teens are in school or working.

Go to the KIDS COUNT Data Book

View eco­nom­ic well-being data in the KIDS COUNT Data Center

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