The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. If you’re an NPR listener, you’ve heard the name. The Foundation just released its annual KIDS COUNT Data book, in which it compiles markers for child-well-being in all fifty states. This is the 2008 data, and overall, things are looking bleak for the youngest citizens. The number of children living in poverty rose to 18% in 2008, before the worst effects of the current recession even hit. The Foundation says experts expect that rate to climb above 20% in the next few years.
Using strong data markers like the child poverty rate, the percentages of infant, child and teen mortality and the percent of children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment (and one questionable data set: the number of children living in single-parent families, arguably not a significant indication of a lack of well-being), the Foundation tagged the worst, and the best, places in the U.S. to be a kid in 2008.
Sadly, history suggests that we don’t care much about this. We’re vastly more interested in the welfare of Bethenny Frankel’s baby than we are in the 1 in five kids in the U.S. dealing daily with poverty. We might skim the story (and we just might not) but we won’t take any action, other than to shake our heads and get on with our days.
What can you do, anyway, if your state’s on this list?
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