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Thursday, July 23, 2015

How are our kids doing?


      This week Annie E. Casey Foundation came out with their annual Kids Count report that evaluates the status of children in the United States. As the chart above shows California has the highest percentage of children living in poverty followed by Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New York, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas.  Nationally the percentage of children living in poverty has risen from 18% to 21% from their report.  It seems that economic recovery has not reached many of the families living below the poverty line. Another factor that has been highlighted in the report is the increase in the rate of drug abuse in the younger population.  In most communities (especially in communities with high rates of poverty) the availability of drug treatment programs is inadequate for the number of people needing treatment.
       Closer to home, Maryland falls in the low to mid range on most well being factors. Maryland ranks 11th overall, 8th in educational achievement, 11th in health status, 12th in economic well being and our lowest at 17th in family and community well-being.  While we in Howard County are significantly above the national average for the well being of our children (ranked 17th best place in America to raise a family by Forbes Magazine) other parts of Maryland don't fare as well.  We are as usual a state that has areas of high income and educational achievement (Howard and Montgomery) and areas of poverty and low educational achievement (Baltimore and the Eastern Shore).  
     The well being of our children isn't good on a global scale when you look at a report from UNICEF that looked at 29 developed countries in the world.  The United States ranked 27th out of the 29 countries rated for childhood well being.  Much of that was our high rate of child poverty and lack of health care.

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