Testing the Validity of the KIDS COUNT State-Level Index of Child Well-Being

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 11, 2007


This working paper examines two state-level indices of child well-being. The first is a 10-item index from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2006 KIDS COUNT Data Book. The second is a 25-item quality-of-life index that covers seven specific domains of child well-being. Readers will learn how these two indices compare, and where and why their state rankings differ. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

It’s official: The 10-item KIDS COUNT index is great — with room for improvement

How does the 10-item KIDS COUNT index compare to the 25-item quality-of-life index? Generally speaking, it provides a good approximation of children’s overall quality of life across the 50 states. But there is room for improvement, according to this report. If the KIDS COUNT index were to grow, it should add a measure in one of two areas: 1) safety and behavioral well-being; or 2) emotional and spiritual well-being. Both areas reflect important dimensions of children’s lives that are not currently represented in the 10-item index.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations