Kids Count Data Book shows positive, negative trends for MS chil - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Kids Count Data Book shows positive, negative trends for MS children

Since 1990, this book has been recording the changes and the statistics; the outcomes are both positive and negative. Source: Kids Count Since 1990, this book has been recording the changes and the statistics; the outcomes are both positive and negative. Source: Kids Count
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Annie E. Casey Foundation's 25th edition of its annual "Kids Count Data Book" shows how demographic, social and economic changes have affected the lives of low-income children.

Since 1990, this book has been recording the changes and the statistics; the outcomes are both positive and negative.

The good news is that there has been steady improvement in the number of kids attending preschool and a decline in the number of kids not proficient in reading and math.

In Mississippi, the number of children not proficient in reading went from 86 percent in 1992 to 79 percent in 2013.

There is also a positive trend in parental education that benefits kids: In Mississippi, a smaller percentage of children live in families in which no parent has a high school diploma – from 35 percent in 1990 to 14 percent in 2012.

The teen birth rate is also at a historic low, and the death rates for children and teens have fallen because of medical advances and more people using seat belts, and bike helmets.

The child and teen death rate in Mississippi decreased by 42 percent over the twenty-five year period (from 66 to 38 deaths per 100,000 children ages 1 to 19).

Some worrisome trends include a rise in the official child poverty rate as well as children living in a single-parent home.

Statistics show that 49% of kids live in a single-parent home.

The most recent tends between 2005 and 2012 have been that children continue to progress in education and health and that economic progress lags even though the recession is over.

State-wide, Massachusetts ranked the highest for overall child well-being while Mississippi takes 50th spot. 

The largest single-year improvement for Mississippi was the teen birth rate indicator which moved us from 50th place to 47th.

"These rankings reinforce the crucial importance of promoting evidence-based policies to improve children's outcomes," said Dr. Linda Southward, Mississippi KIDS COUNT director. "We have a tremendous opportunity to make positive long term impacts by investing early in children's well-being. The recent passage of Pre-K legislation is a small step in the right direction."

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