Arkansas Ranks 44th In Kids Count Report

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 141 views 

Arkansas ranks 44th in the latest Annie E. Casey Kids Count report, three spots lower than the previous year. The report was released Tuesday.

The state was 44th in economic well-being, 45th in family and community, and 39th in education. The brightest spot was in health, where the state ranked 34th.

In health, the report said the state had improved in all four areas studied comparing 2008 to 2013: children without health insurance (from 9% in 2008 to 6% in 2013); child and teen deaths per 100,000 (from 45% to 33%); teens who abuse alcohol drugs (8% to 6%); and low-birthweight babies (9.2% to 8.8%).

In education, Arkansas improved in fourth graders not proficient in reading (from 71% in 2007 to 68% in 2013); eighth graders not proficient in math (76% in 2007 to 72% in 2013); and high school students not graduating on time (24% in 2007-08 to 22% in 2011-12). The report said Arkansas “worsened” in children not attending preschool (52% in 2007-09 to 55% in 2011-13).

In economic well-being, Arkansas improved in its percentage of children living in households with a high housing cost burden (from 31% in 2008 to 30% in 2013); and in teens not in school and not working (from 12% in 2008 to 10% in 2013). The state worsened in its percentage of children in poverty (from 25% in 2008 to 29% in 2013); and in its percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment (32% in 2008 to 34% in 2013).

In family and community, Arkansas improved in its percentage of children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma (from 17% in 2008 to 14% in 2013); and in teen births per 1,000 (from 60 in 2008 to 44 in 2013). It worsened in its percentage of children in single-parent families (from 36% in 2008 to 38% in 2013) and in its percentage of children living in high-poverty areas (from 14% in 2006-10 to 17% in 2009-13).

The Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation makes grants to help federal, state and local entities create responses to issues affecting children.

Minnesota ranked first overall, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa and Vermont. Access Arkansas’ state profile here.