Minnesota drops to fifth in new child well-being index

July 25, 2012
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Kara Arzamendia, 651-855-1184

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book with a new and more robust index of child well-being indicators. Overall, Minnesota ranked fifth in the country under the new index, the lowest overall ranking it has received in the past decade from the Annie E. Casey's KIDS COUNT Data Book. Much like the rest of the nation, Minnesota saw improvements in health and education but struggled with indicators in economic well-being.

However, some key health and education indicators also showed room for improvement for Minnesota. For example, Minnesota ranked 7th in education, with more than half (55 percent) of 3- and 4-year–olds not attending preschool. The state also fell short on the percentage of children without health insurance, ranking 27th overall with 7 percent of all children lacking health care coverage (84,000 children). Minnesota was the only state that saw an increase in the percent of uninsured children in the country.

Minnesota saw positive gains for many teen indicators with improvements in the percent of high school students not graduating on time, the teen birth rate, and the percent of teens ages 12 to 17 who abuse alcohol or drugs (see table below for details).

For the first time in its history, the Data Book has revamped its index from 10 indicators to 16, while also breaking the data into four domains to evaluate a more nuanced characterization of child well-being in the states. Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community are the new domains. With four indicators, the domains allow states to look at a wide range of factors that span the life of a child from birth to high school. It also allows for a more in depth look at family economic security, which has a direct impact on child development outcomes.

Download the Minnesota KIDS COUNT 2012 Databook released May 2012.

See Minnesota County level data.