It comes as no surprise that once again, Nebraska is ranked as the 10th best state in the nation in child well-being according to the National KIDS COUNT Data Book. This report is published each year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It looks at 16 indicators of child well-being in 4 sections: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The Data Book provides policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being that in turn can enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. Here at Voices we use the report as a great overall look at child well-being in the state. It is a great tool to use to look at where other states and the nation as a whole has seen improvements and can serve as a guide for which policies we can consider modeling to further improve child well-being in Nebraska.
While overall Nebraska does quite well for the kids in our state, we always want to do better and strive to be the best place in the country for every child and family. By using the National KIDS COUNT Data Book as a jumping off point and the Kids Count in Nebraska Report for a more detailed look at child well-being in our state, we can identify how, where and for who we can do better.
In this year’s rankings, Nebraska stayed the same overall, jumped up 2 places to 3rd in the country for economic well-being, held steady at number 20 in family and community, and dropped in the rankings in education, from 9 to 11, and health from 24 to 26. Although we dropped in education and health rankings, the good news is that when we invest in the right policies, we can make a difference for kids and reverse these declines.
For more information on the data and to dive deeper into the indicators check out the KIDS COUNT Data Center and stayed tuned to the Voices for Children in Nebraska blog in the coming weeks for more in our 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book series.