The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2017 KIDS COUNT® Data Book bears good news. It identifies upticks in parental employment, improvements in high-school graduation rates and a record number of children with health insurance across the country. At the same time, deep racial and ethnic disparities persist; the number of families living in areas of concentrated poverty has grown; and the nation’s child poverty rate remains high — at 21%.
With these national trends on record, the Data Book calls on policymakers to “take a long view.” It advocates for smart, sustained government investments that will help eliminate systemic barriers to success while creating pathways of opportunity for those most in need. Such support can help all children — including children of color and children from immigrant families — become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults.
At the state level, the Data Book ranks New Hampshire No. 1 in overall child well-being. Two New England neighbors — Massachusetts and Vermont— sit at spots 2 and 3, respectively, and three states to the south — Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi — fall at the opposite end of the list, ranking 48, 49 and 50, respectively.
View the national fact sheet or download your state's fact sheet as a PDF below: