Health + Safety

The Best and Worst States to Be a Kid In May Surprise You!

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Best states for kids

The best and worst states for kids may surprise you, thanks to the findings in a new study.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked all 50 states in order from best to worst in their 2016 Kids Count Data Book, which sees Minnesota topping the list as the best state to be a kid in, while Mississippi came in dead last, as the state ranked worst in overall child well-being.

In addition to Minnesota, the other four states to top the list were Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Rounding out the bottom five along with Mississippi are New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada, and Alabama.

“This generation of teenagers and young adults are coming of age in in the wake of the worst economic climate in nearly 80 years, and yet they are achieving key milestones that are critical for future success,” said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation, in a statement. “With more young people making smarter decisions, we must fulfill our part of the bargain, by providing them with the educational and economic opportunity that youth deserve. We urge candidates in state and national campaigns to describe in depth their proposals to help these determined young people realize their full potential.”

The data also reveals overall trends in different areas that contribute to the quality of life of kids and young adults, such as education and poverty trends. Looking at the data between 2008 and 2014, teen birth rates fell 40 percent, the percentage of teens abusing drugs and alcohol dropped 38 percent, and the percent of teens not graduating on time decreased by 28 percent.

There were areas that didn’t show as much improvement, however. Despite rising employment numbers, 22 percent of children lived in poverty in
2014—the same rate as in 2013 and almost one in three children live in families where no member of the household has full-time, year-round employment.

If you’d like to read more about the Kids Count Data Book, click here.

Are you surprised by the rankings on the list?