Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Kids Count

But not for much. In a society with an age structure as top heavy as ours, children are often neglected—not by parents, but by politicians. That explains why 41 percent of the federal budget is devoted to the elderly and only 10 percent to children, according to an Urban Institute study.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is trying to change that. Each year it examines the socioeconomic status of the nation's children and ranks their status by state—all in the hope that politicians will pay attention. The 2013 Kids Count Data Book finds the status of children improving in some areas and worsening in others. Many more children were in poverty in 2011, for example, than in 2005 (the percentage rising from 19 to 23 percent), and there were more children whose parents lack secure employment (rising from 27 to 32 percent). But fewer children were without health insurance and fewer teens were having babies.

By state, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts rank at the top in the well-being of their children. At the bottom are New Mexico, Mississippi, and Nevada. The Data Book includes details for each state, and the Kids Count Data Center has an interactive graphic. Let's hope someone is paying attention.

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013 Kids Count Data Book

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