OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A report being released Tuesday shows Oklahoma is 40th among the 50 states in the well-being of children and teenagers, two spots worse than last year.
The annual Kids Count Report says the state's death rate for children aged 1 to 14 increased by 16 percent from 2000 to 2003 with 29 deaths per 100-thousand children to rank 45th among the states.
The Kids County report analyzes ten indicators of children's well-being.
Oklahoma improved in four areas. The infant mortality rate is down as is the teenage birth rate and there are fewer high school dropouts and fewer teenagers not attending school and not working.
But the state worsened in the other six categories that include the child death rate, teen death rate and low-birthweight babies. Also increasing are the percentage of children in poverty and in single-parent homes and the percent of children who have no parent with a full-time job.
One bright spot in the report is the high school dropout rate was six percent, down from the 14 percent rate in 2000.