How Does Your State Rank in Child Well-Being?

profile picture of Cassie Kreitner
ByCassie Kreitner
Senior Editor
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Photo: Shutterstock

It’s a great time to raise children in the Midwest and New England.

These regions include eight of the top 10 states (along with New Jersey and Utah) that have the highest overall well-being for American children, according to new information released from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book.

The ranking considers data from four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. Southern states didn’t perform as well: Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi ranked last.

Regardless of where your family lives, kids today are not as well off as they were before the 2008 recession. More children are living in poverty — 22 percent compared to 18 percent — and more are in high-poverty areas (where more than 30 percent of the population is under the poverty line). And the gap widens even further when you look at race: poverty rates of African American and American Indians nearly double the national average.

So while the economic situation may seem a bit bleak (although it is slowly improving since 2008’s lows), the good news is that there are improvements in health and education. Kids are getting better at reading and math, and more high school students are graduating on time.

The number of children covered by health care has increased, and we’re delivering few babies at low birth weights (less than 5.5 pounds). The child and teen death rate has gone down as well: from 29 deaths per 100,000 to 24.

To see how your state ranks in each area, click here.

Related Video

Style of the Week: Hilary Duff’s Baby Luca

Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer
Published
04/03/2012

JetBlue Kicks Family of Crying Toddler Off Plane

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/31/2015

Zika and Birth Defects: What Pregnant Women Need to Know

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/19/2016

The Age When Women Start Turning Into Their Mothers, According to Survey

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/19/2019

The Best (and Worst) Breastfeeding Moments of 2015

Jessica Shortall
Contributing Writer
Published
12/30/2015

Ryan Reynolds Explains Why Baby James's Name Was Kept a Secret

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
03/20/2015

Flight Attendants Celebrate Couple Flying Home With Newly Adopted Baby

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/14/2020
Advertisement