The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 30th edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book reports how America’s child population and the American childhood experience have changed — and in some cases stayed the same — since 1990.

In that time, America’s child population has increased by 10 million, but the quality of life for children across the country continues to vary greatly from region to region. Kansas ranks 15th and Missouri 28th in overall child wellbeing.

Major findings include:

  • The nation’s child poverty rate dropped from 22% to 18% in 2017. However, for African American and American Indian children, the rate is significantly higher at 33%.
  • In terms of health, the number of uninsured children increased for the first time since 2010 while the percentage of children without health insurance held steady at 5%.
  • One in three kids across the nation are being raised by a single parent. On top of this, single-parent households are 4.5 times more likely than married households to experience poverty.
  • More parents are financially stable, and more teens are graduating from high school and delaying parenthood.
  • Access to children’s health insurance has increased since 2012.
Read the Full Report

What Should Be Done?

The report calls for an accurate 2020 U.S. Census count of children and using reliable data to develop and implement policies that:

  • Expand access to Medicaid.
  • Increase federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credit programs.
  • Prioritize investments in education.
  • Address obstacles that perpetuate racial and ethnic disparities.

How Can I Help?

Take a closer look at the Kids Count data specific to Missouri and Kansas, then share this information with your Congressional Representatives, state legislators and local officials. Tell them to take action to enhance health, education and safety of children in your community.

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