How Are the Children? New Data Released on Child Well-being

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released it’s 20th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, a national and state-by-state report that includes key measures and statistical trends on the condition of America’s children and families.

Along with the 2009 Data Book is a new Online Data Center that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being covering national, state, county, and city information. The Data Center allows you to compare indicators across geographies, look at trends over time, and generate maps and graphs and is updated throughout the year.

“Counting What Counts” is the theme of the 2009 Data Book and the subject of the introductory essay .

“It’s time to focus on the evolving needs of the next generation of millions of children whose future well-being is on the line, ” says Douglas Nelson, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. ” … by counting what counts in the lives of children and families, we can better hold ourselves accountable to our national commitment to meet the needs and boost the outcomes for less-fortunate children.”

According to Casey, in releasing this year’s KIDS COUNT Data Book, “the basis for improving the outcomes of this country’s most disadvantaged children and families lies in identifying where they are, the conditions that they live in, and the effectiveness of current programs to improve outcomes.”

How are Vermont’s Children?

Vermont ranked 8th overall, and was in the top 10 in seven of the 10 indicators. Still, the data show that much work remains to be done, even for the indicators in which the state ranks highly. Although Vermont is ranked 7th in child poverty, that translates to having 16,000 children living below the federal poverty level. (income below $21,027 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children) Since child poverty is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes — poorer health, less chance of success in school and lower future earnings — 16,000 is 16,000 too many.

Visit the new Online Data Center for national and state data.

See the Vermont Section at the Data Center

See the 2009 Vermont data page from the KIDS COUNT book.