La. is on the right track
Louisiana is making progress at improving the lives of children in our state.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which ranks states on a series of child well-being indicators, and Louisiana has moved up two places to 47th in the nation, its highest-ever ranking.
According to the study, Louisiana has been ranked second to last in the nation for the last decade. The study measures child well-being in each state using 16 data indicators, which are grouped into four categories: Health, Education, Family and Community, and Economic Well-Being.
Louisiana improved on 11 of the 16 indicators, and received its highest state ranking – 39th place – in the Health category, reflecting major gains in children’s health outcomes and access to health care services.
For health indicators, KIDS COUNT considers the percentage of low birth weight babies born in the state, children’s health insurance coverage, teen alcohol and drug abuse and the number of child and teen deaths. Louisiana improved on each of these indicators and outperformed the national average on the percentage of children who have some form of health care coverage and teens who abuse alcohol or drugs.
The KIDS COUNT rankings show Louisiana improving on all of the health indicators at a faster rate than the national average, which is a trend that should lead to higher overall rankings in the future. A healthier Louisiana starts with healthier children, and improving their access to health care services make a significant difference in child well-being.
Regarding education, Louisiana improved in all four areas, and outperformed the national trend on the percentage of children percentage of children not attending preschool.
When evaluating family and community, Louisiana improved in two of the four indicators; most notably, the percentage of children living in high-poverty areas decreased by 23 percent. Also, Louisiana ranked 13th in the nation in terms of ensuring access to preschool for 4-year-olds.
In terms of economic well-being, Louisiana showed improvement in the percentage of children in poverty, making strides in job creation and youth literacy.
The move up in these rankings may be small, but it shows the commitment and dedication made by our state and local child-serving agencies. The results show that at least Louisiana is on the right track to making our state a healthier, happier place to grow up.
Short URL: http://www.jenningsdailynews.net/?p=12815