Some improvements in child well-being during the 1990s stalled in the first years of the 2000s, just before the recession began, according to the latest installment of the Casey Foundation’s annual data compendium. But some areas continue to show improvement.
The true impact of the recession won’t be known for “a number of years,” Kids Count coordinator Laura Beavers said in releasing the report early Tuesday morning. That’s because the latest data available for most of the categories in the book are from 2007 and 2008.
Compared with 2000, the most recent figures show increases in three negative indicators: child poverty, low-birthweight babies and the percentage of children living in single-parent families, according to the book’s data. At the same time, however, five of the 10 measured areas saw improvement since 2000: There were decreases in the infant mortality rate, child death rate, teen death rate, teen birth rate, and the percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates. The birth rate, for example, declined from 48 births per 1,000 female ages 15 to 19 to 43 births per 1,000 in 2007. (However, that is still up from 40 per 1,000 in 2005.)
Last year, Casey documented improvements in six areas. Because of changes in data collection, Casey deemed two remain areas – the percent of teens not in school and not working, adnt he percent of children in families where no parent had full-time, year-round employment – “not comparable” to previous years.
Among the states, those scoring highest across the well-being indicators were New Hampshire, Minnesota and Vermont, while those scoring lowest were Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The book is at http://datacenter.kidscount.org.