We all know that Nebraska is a great place to be a kid. Today’s release of the 25th annual National KIDS COUNT Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, reaffirms that. The report, using 16 indicators of child well-being, ranked Nebraska the 10th best state in the country to be a child. 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. 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 children and families. Unfortunately, the report shows that this year we in fact did worse than the prior year falling 2 places – last year’s book ranked Nebraska as 8th in overall child well-being. Additionally, the report separates the 16 indicators into 4 sections – Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Nebraska fell in the nationwide rankings in each section but education. Especially worrisome is worsening trends in each of the 4 indicators of economic well-being, including a 20% increase in child poverty since 2005.
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 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book series.