U.S. falls behind other advanced nations.
If the wellbeing of a societies children is an indicater of a societies wellbieng, the U.S is slipping, according to the annual Kids Count report released Thursday, The percentage of underweight U.S. born babies was the highest in 40 years, and the number of children in poverty grew.
THe Kids COurt is an annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation a public founded in 1948 to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families.
The Kids Count report analysis covers 10 areas of children’s health and well-being. The report found clear regional differences for the 10 catagories examined. For the idividual states, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Utah had the best ranking, while Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico,and South Carolina ranked lowest.
National trends in child well-being taken together have improved slightly since 2000″, said the report.
The report found:
• Five areas of improvement: child death rate, teen death rate, teen birth rate, high school dropout rate, and teens not in school and not working;
• One area had no change: infant mortality rate; and
• Four areas have worsened: low-birthweight babies, children living in families where no parent has full time year round employment, children in poverty, and children in single parent families.
“These national trends are not on par with the well-being improvements that were seen at the end of the 1990s, with little change since 2000. The report cites that more children are living in relative poverty in the United States than in any other economically advanced nation.” said the report
“KIDS COUNT contains some good and bad news,” says Laura Beavers, coordinator of the national KIDS COUNT project at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “We continue to see that well-being indicators have largely gotten better for teens, and they’ve gotten worse for babies.”