The Kids Count Data Book examines 10 key indicators of child well-being and found that since 2000, half of the indicators showed national improvement: the infant mortality rate, child death rate, teen death rate, teen birth rate, and the percent of teens who were not in school and not high school graduates.
Three indicators showed some worsening nationally, however: the percent of babies born with low birthweight, the child poverty rate, and the percent of children living in single-parent families. And even though the most current data available is from 2008, before the economic recession began, it shows that overall improvements in child well-being that began in the late 90s stalled in the years preceding the current downturn.
Massachusetts fell in the top 10% for seven of the 10 indicators and ranked second for infant mortality rate and the teen birth rate. In the indicator measuring the percent of children living in poverty (defined as an income below $21,834 for a family of four in 2008), Massachusetts saw a 14% decline since 2000. In contrast, the national rate rose 6%, which represents about 1 million more children living below the poverty line in 2008 than in 2000.
Across all of the indicators, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Vermont ranked highest and Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi ranked lowest.
For more information:
- See all of Massachusetts data in the state profile [pdf]
- Check out the Kids Count Data Center–it offers fantastic web-based tools that allow you to easily examine state and national data across all measures and demographics
- Follow the Kids Count initiative of the Casey Foundation on Twitter @AECFKidsCount
- Read the entire 2010 Kids Count Data Book report [pdf]