Factors Affecting State Differences in Child Well-Being

A KIDS COUNT Working Paper

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

August 1, 2007

Summary

Despite the fact there is enormous variation in state-level child well-being data, little research has been done to explain why. This study compares the social, economic and policy environments of the top-10 states (best child well-being) and the bottom-10 states (worst child well-being) relative to the rest of the states. Using several different methods, this study finds that states ranked among the 10 best or 10 worst with respect to overall child well-being have different demographic, socioeconomic and policy environments than those states ranking in the middle 30.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Knowing the national KIDS COUNT child well-being rate tells you very little about what is going on at the state level.

After adjustments, states with higher levels of health insurance coverage for adults tend to have better child outcomes.

Findings & Stats

New England states are over-represented among the KIDS COUNT top 10 while southern states dominate the bottom 10. 

Statements & Quotations