From the Annie E. Casey Foundation:
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book finds today’s youth — Generation Z — are healthier and completing high school on time despite mounting economic inequality and increasingly unaffordable college tuition. Aided by smart policies and investments in prevention, a record number of teens are making positive choices. This year, the annual report focuses on key trends in child well-being in the post-recession years and offers recommendations for how policymakers can ensure all children are prepared for the future, based on the country’s shared values of opportunity, responsibility and security.
For the second year in a row, a non-New England state ranks number one for overall child well-being. Minnesota holds the top spot, followed by Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire and Connecticut, a newcomer to the top five. Mississippi remains the lowest ranked, with New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada and newcomer Alabama rounding out the bottom five.
Other state highlights:
- The top five states in economic well-being are in the heartland and Plain States regions — Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.
- The biggest improvements in overall rankings compared to last year’s Data Book are in Montana, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
- The biggest drops in overall rankings are in Alaska, Maine, Maryland and Kansas.
- Arkansas, Florida and Wyoming fell to the lowest five rankings in health, accompanying Mississippi and Louisiana.
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