Ranking States on Improvement in Child Well-Being Since 2000

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

March 1, 2009


This publication uses the KIDS COUNT data from 2000 to 2005 to rank states based on improvements in child well-being in each state during that period. This is different than comparing the level of child well-being from state-to-state in that it shows whether a state is improving or deteriorating, rather than its status at a specific point in time. For each year from 2000 to 2005, a state composite index of child well-being was created, and the movement of this index over time indicates if general child well-being is improving or deteriorating. Collevtively, the data from each state characterizes progress on a national level. While most states (46 out of 50) improved during the 1990s, there are substantial differences among the states. California exhibited the biggest improvement during the 1990s (up 23%) followed closely by Maryland and New Jersey (up 21% each). Nebraska and Wisconsin experienced slight declines in overall well-being while Kansas and North Dakota showed no change over the decade.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Nationwide child well-being improved by 5% between 2000 and 2005.

Nationwide child well-being improved by 5% between 2000 and 2005, but most of the improvement came between 2000 and 2003, when the index rose by four points. The modest improvement in child well-being from 2000 to 2005 stands in contrast to large improvements seen in the 1995 to 2000 period when a similar index rose by 12 points.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations