OKLAHOMA CITY - The state of Oklahoma ranks 36th among the states in the overall well-being of its children according to the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Oklahoma moved up 4 spots from is overall ranking of 40th in 2012, making it one of two states showing the biggest improvement from last year according to the foundation.

In a news release, the foundation said Oklahoma improved its ranking in three of four areas, economic well-being, health and family/community.

"We are finally moving up from the bottom of the barrel on some key indicators related to child well-being, however, our state is not even close to the national average for most of our rankings." said Doug Gibson, Interim Executive Director for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, the organization that directs Oklahoma KIDS COUNT.

The report ranks states based on their performance in 16 indicators across four domains: Economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

New Hampshire topped the KIDS COUNT list, followed by Vermont and Massachusetts, while New Mexico was at the bottom of the list, with Mississippi 49th and Nevada 48th.

Two of the indicators showing the most improvement in Oklahoma since 2005 were:

  • Child and teen deaths (per 100,000) with Oklahoma now ranking 36th, compared to 45th.
  • Teen birth rate (15-19 year-olds) at 50 per 1,000, compared to 54 per 1,000.

Other indicators that showed slight improvement in Oklahoma since 2005 were:

  • The percent of children not attending preschool dropped from 62% to 59%.
  • The percent of fourth graders not reading at grade level dropped from 75% to 73%.
  • The percent of eighth graders not proficient in math dropped from 79% to 73%.
  • The percent of high school students not graduating on time dropped from 22% to 21%.
  • The percent of children without health insurance dropped from 13% in 2005 to 11% in current data.
  • Teens who abuse alcohol and drugs dropped from 8% to 6%.
  • Children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma dropped from 14% to 13%