PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked 27th in the nation for overall children’s well-being, and last among New England states, according to the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, published Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The 2016 findings reflect an improvement from last year when Rhode Island ranked 31st in the nation for overall children’s well-being. Rhode Island is among the six states in 2016 with the largest improvements in overall rankings, including Montana, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The report shows how states compare against one another on an index of 16 indicators in the four key areas listed below.
- Health: Rhode Island ranks sixth, an improvement from 12th in 2015
- Education: Rhode Island ranks 25th, a decrease from 24th in 2015
- Family and Community: Rhode Island ranks 30th, an improvement from 33rd in 2015
- Economic Well-Being: Rhode Island ranks 34th, an improvement from 36th in 2015
Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, said she is impressed by the state’s almost across-the-board improvement.
“We have more work to do to improve our overall rank of 27th by reducing childhood poverty and accelerating progress on education outcomes,” she said.
The top five states for children’s overall well-being in the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book were Minnesota, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire and Connecticut. The five overall worst states for children’s well-being were Alabama, Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi.
National trends show that Generation Z ( beginning in 1995, following Millennials), broke education and health indicator records despite growing up during the Great Recession.
However, the report said an increasing number of children are growing up in areas that lack basic resources. From 2006 to 2010 the number of children living in high-poverty areas in the United States increased from 11 percent to 14 percent. In 2014 almost one quarter, 22 percent of children in the United States lived in poverty.
The KIDS COUNT data book can be found HERE.