The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its annual Kids Count report evaluating child well-being in the United States.
The report delves into areas such as economic security, education, health, and family and community. The online resources are comprehensive — offering the national and state-by-state perspective, in addition to data broken out by race and ethnicity.
According to the report, small gains have been made in the areas of education and health. However, income inequality and high unemployment are hurting well-being.
The report stresses that high-quality preschool programs can improve academic outcomes for children. However, only about 46 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds are in preschool.
The child poverty rate was about 23 percent in 2011, with the youngest children being the poorest. The report defined the poverty line as $22,811 for two adults and two children.
According to the report, child well-being can be improved with more programs that teach parents how to be their child’s first teacher and offering more high-quality preschool programs.
The report reported further data, and here are some interesting statistics about Latino children:
– ABout 63 percent of Hispanic three- and four-year-old children were not attending preschool — more than any other group.
– About 34 percent of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2011.
– About 39 percent of Hispanic children had parents lacking secure employment in 2011.
– About 11 percent of Hispanic teens were not in school or not working in 2011.
– About 29 percent of Hispanic high school students did not graduate on time in 2009-10.
– About 42 percent of Hispanic children were in single-parent homes in 2011.
The states were also ranked based on well-being, with New Mexico ranked last overall. Other states with significant Latino populations included Arizona (47), California (41), Florida (38), Illinois (23), New York (29) and Texas (42).