The 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book

State Profiles of Child Well-Being

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2010

Summary

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states. The 2010 report ranks states on 10 indicators that reflect a wide range of factors affecting the well-being of children, particularly health, adequacy of income, and educational attainment. Based on a composite index of the 10 indicators, the three highest ranked states for child-being overall were New Hampshire, Minnesota and Vermont; the three lowest ranked states were Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. At the national level, child well-being stagnated since 2000 after improving in the late 1990s. Due to time lags in data availability, this report relies primarily on data collected in 2007 and 2008, with some of the measures reflecting what happened in the prior year. Therefore the findings do not capture the effects of the economic downturn on families and children, which were largely felt well into 2008 and in 2009.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The child poverty rate rose from 17% to 18%, representing an increase of one million children.

In the years prior to 2000, child poverty fell substantially, representing the largest drop since the 1960s. But then improvement stalled: between 2000 and 2008, the child poverty rate rose from 17% to 18%, representing an increase of one million children. The percent of children living in single-parent families increased slightly over the same period. From 2000 to 2007/8, children made gains in the area of health and safety—the mortality rate declined across three age groups of children—but the percent of low-birthweight babies increased.

Findings & Stats

10 key indicators of child well-being, nationanal average: 2000 and 2007/2008

Kids Count overall rank: 2010

Statements & Quotations