Report: Oklahoma Falls In Ranking In Well-Being Of Its Children
Tuesday, July 22nd 2014, 10:42 AM CDT
The 25th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore assembles data from across the country to raise awareness about children's issues. The report lists different state trends in child well-being.
In Oklahoma, the report finds the number of children living in high-poverty areas has more than doubled since 2000.
The report ranked Oklahoma 39th in 16 indicators across four areas, economic well-being, education, health and family and community. KIDS COUNT says the official child poverty rate increased from 21 to 24 percent from 1990 to 2000 which is slightly higher than the national poverty rate of 23 percent.
Pre-school attendance among 3- and 4-year olds has increased and the state’s math and reading scores as well as graduation rates have improved.
A negative factor was the slight increase of low-birth weight babies in 2012. Also the number of children living in single-parent families has risen.
In 2012, KIDS COUNT says 35 percent of Oklahoma children are living with a single parent, up from 23 percent in 1990. The rate of children living in areas of poverty has also increased. And the state’s teen birth rate has worsened.
Overall, KIDS COUNT says Oklahoma fell from 36th place last year to 39th place this year.
KIDS COUNT says Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire and Minnesota were at the top and Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi were at the bottom of their rankings.