We know that Nebraska is a great place to be a kid, and today’s release of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book proves that. The data book ranks each state on 16 measures of child well-being, and Nebraska received a 9th place ranking! This report is published annually by Casey and 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.
Over the coming weeks we will dive deeper into the indicators in each of the 4 sections of data – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community, but first let’s take a look at our overall rankings. Nebraska jumped up from 10th place last year to 9th in this year’s report, our economic well-being ranking dropped from 3rd place in 2015 to 5th place this year, Nebraska improved 3 places in the education domain with an 8th place ranking, fell 1 place in the family and community domain, and our biggest improvement was seen in health with an jump 5 places from 26th place last year to 21st this year. Although small drops were seen in the economic well-being and family and community domains, 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 deeps into the indicators, check out the KIDS COUNT Data Center and stayed tuned here in the coming weeks for more in our 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book series.