(Posting this for Jude Carroll, CAHS' KIDS COUNT Director.)
Once again, Connecticut ranks among the top 10 states on child well-being according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2012 National KIDS COUNT Data Book. This year's updated index focuses on four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. According to national analysts, Connecticut children improved on eight indicators, stayed the same on two, and declined on six, providing an overall ranking of 7th among the 50 states.
Among the indicators illustrating improvements for Connecticut children are the following:
- The number of children with health insurance increased;
- Child and teen mortality declined;
- Births to teens between 15 and 19 years of age declined;
- More children were enrolled in preschool; and
- Slightly more 4th graders scored at or above proficient in reading and slightly more 8th graders scored at or above proficient in math.
There was no change in the percent of low-birthweight babies in the state and no change in the percentage of children under 18 living with a parent without a high school diploma.
More children suffered from the economic recession well into 2011:
- The number of children living in poverty increased;
- More children lived in households in which the cost of housing was at least 30 percent of the household budget;
- More children under 18 lived with at least one parent without secure employment;
- The number of children under 18 living in high poverty neighborhoods increased;
- More children were living in single parent families; and
- Fewer high school students graduated on time.
Also, as reported in the 2011 KIDS COUNT, while Connecticut's overall child poverty rate was 12%, child poverty in major cities is much higher: 27.6% in Bridgeport, 42.8% in Hartford, and 31.8% in New Haven. Additionally, the rate of child poverty was just 5% non-Hispanic Whites, but 25% for Black or African Americans and 31% for Hispanic or Latino.
The 2012 National KIDS COUNT Data Book, with full state-by-state rankings and supplemental data, is available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/databook/2012
CAHS will release the Connecticut KIDS COUNT Data Book in December 2012.