Missed Opportunities: Minnesota Can Do Better to Prepare All Children

September 9, 2010

Missed Opportunities: Minnesota can do better to prepare all children 

Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota’s Annual KIDS COUNT Book Outlines How Children of Color and American Indian children in the State are Faring on Wide Range of Issues

ST. PAUL, MINN– According to the 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book released today by Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)-Minnesota, inequalities across race and ethnicity for Minnesota’s children are significant and span across a variety of indicators, making Minnesota home to some of the largest resource gaps in the country. As a result, the future prosperity and ingenuity of the state may be in jeopardy if all children are not given the same opportunity to be successful.

The 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book, “Every Kid Counts: Taking a Closer look at Children of Color and American Indian Children,” highlights many areas where opportunities for improvement exist for children of color and American Indian children. Overall, children of color and American Indian children do not receive the same resources and chances as White children.

Research supports that a disproportionate number of children of color and American Indian children tend to live in communities with high unemployment, poverty, isolation, underfunded schools, and violence. Due to these environmental factors, it is difficult for these children to achieve the skills they need to become prepared and ready to be contributing members of society as adults.

Despite these barriers to success, the Data Book also highlights where communities of color and American Indian communities have many assets that positively impact children. According to the data, families of color spend quality time together, take their children to preventive medical visits, and make sure their children receive much needed immunizations. The Data Book concludes that more investments in policies and programs to support communities of color and American Indian communities are needed so that everyone is included in making our state a great place to live and call home.

The book also includes a list of “Stars of the State” or organizations that work with families and children in creative ways to address the inequalities that exist. Click here to view additional county level data, as well as download an electronic copy of the book. KIDS COUNT is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Kara Arzamendia

Research Director

651-855-1184 (Work)

612-296-2073 (Cell)



Opportunities for Improvement: Data showing inequalities across race and ethnicity

Low Birth-Weight: African American (10.9 per 1,000), Asian (7.7 per 1,000), and American Indian (7 per 1,000) infants are more likely to be born at a low birth-weight compared to White infants (5.9 per 1,000).

Uninsured Children:  Hispanic (1 in 5) and African American (1 in 8) children are more likely to be uninsured than White children (1 in 20).    

Graduation Rates: Twice as many White students (81%) graduate after four years of high school compared to Hispanic (40%), African American (41%), and American Indian students (41%). 

Homeless Youth: Nearly half of all homeless youth (ages 12-17) in Minnesota are African American (43%). American Indian youth make up approximately 1% of the population in Minnesota, but account for 20% of the homeless population.

Promising Practices: Data showing similar rates across race and ethnicity

Preventive Medical Visits: Hispanic children are most likely to receive preventive medical visits (90%), followed by Black children (89%) and Multi-racial children (85%).

Immunizations: American Indian children are most likely to have all of their immunizations completed at 24 months (56%); while Asian (38%) and White (46%) children have the lowest rates of immunization at 24 months.

Plans to go to College:  High percentages of students, across race and ethnicity, have plans to go to college in both 9th and 12th grades.

Postsecondary Enrollment: African American students have the highest postsecondary enrollment after graduating from high school (54%), compared with 52% for Asian students, 51% for White students, 46% for American Indian students and 40% for Hispanic students.