Today, The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 18th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. KIDS COUNT monitors such issues pertaining to kids as education benchmarks, poverty levels, and health insurance coverage.
The 18th annual Kids Count report compiles information about health, living arrangements, economic status and education to compare the well-being of children state by state. Minnesota, New Hampshire and Connecticut topped the overall rankings; Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi finished at the bottom.
Newspapers across the country are printing commentary on their state's ranking in the report, including The San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle articles indicates that California lags behind national averages for children's health insurance coverage. The state dropped from a #18 rank last year to #19 this year.
Of the 8.3 million U.S. children without health insurance in 2004, 15 percent were in California. That year, 13 percent of the state's children had no health insurance, slightly higher than the national average of 11 percent.
"We're headed the wrong direction, and it's especially disconcerting on some of the health indicators where California traditionally has seemed to be a leader," said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, an advocacy group based within the state.
Read the full report here.
SOURCE: "State's Ranking for Child Well-Being Drops" 07/25/07
USDA photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher.com