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.

March 1, 2009

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    How the report leverages data from the KIDS COUNT project.

  2. 2

    About the 10 statistical indicators used to create a single metric to rank states in terms of overall child well-being.

  3. 3

    The methodology and relationships that were used to create and compare each state's index over time.

  4. 4

    How child well-being has changed both nationally and across individual states between 2000 and 2005

  1. 5

    Why this methodology is beneficial for gaining a better sense of trends in child well-being than previous methodologies.

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