Children's health and education are showing positive signs even in the midst of a dismal economic environment, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual ranking of child well-being, released this morning.
The 23rd-annual Kids Count Data Book represents an overhaul of the Baltimore-based group'shistorically health-dominated 10 benchmarks. This year the indicators have been expanded to "holistically measure" child well-being, incorporating 16 measures of health, education, economic well-being, and family and community support, according to Laura Speer, an associate director for advocacy reform and data at the foundation. The data from different indicators are not necessarily comparable, however, as they span different comparison years based on the most recent state and federal information available.
Researchers found education and health are on the upswing across all benchmarks, though gaps still exist between children of different racial groups, and Northeast and Midwestern states score well above states in the Deep South and Southwest.