All of Nebraska’s children deserve the opportunity to grow up to be happy, healthy, successful adults. Our state does many things right, and there is no doubt that our’s is a great state to be a kid. But despite our many successes as a state, there are things we need to fix.
Data and research on kids in Nebraska guides Voices for Children’s policy priorities and serve as a support for the work that we do to help ensure improvements in child well being regardless of race, poverty or geography. In the spirit of Halloween, here are the 5 scariest statistics on children and families in Nebraska:
- 18.5% of Nebraskans are living in Asset Poverty meaning that they do not have enough savings to provide a 3 month financial cushion at the poverty rate, or $6000 for a family of 4. This means that nearly 1 in 5 Nebraskans are one medical emergency, car repair, or job loss away from financial crisis.
- Nebraska’s American Indian and Black/African American kids experience significantly higher obstacles to opportunity as evidenced by our Index of Race and Opportunity for Nebraska Children with scores of 24 and 31 respectively compared to 89 for White, non-Hispanic kids.
- Of the nearly 25,000 kids in Nebraska who did not have health insurance in 2014, 61.8% were from low-income families and likely eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, but simply not enrolled.
- Only 62% cases in juvenile court and 33% of juvenile cases in adult criminal court had access to the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney, a guaranteed constitutional right. Access to counsel was even lower in certain parts of the state.
- In 2011, Nebraskans paid over $25 million in interest payments for payday loans at an APR of 459% trapping many families in a debt trap and leaving them with less money to pay their bills.
Voices for Children will continue to follow the research and data, and work with Nebraska policymakers and stakeholders to ensure that our policies are making Nebraska the best state for kids and families.