Today, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which tracks the well-being of our nation’s children state by state. Since 1990, the annual Data Book has ranked the 50 states on key indicators of child well-being in categories such as economic security, education and health.
The Data Book provides important insights about the priority places in which the W.K. Kellogg Foundation invests deeply on behalf of vulnerable children – Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and Louisiana, where we focus on New Orleans. This year’s Data Book contains some good news ¬– the percentage of children without health insurance decreased by 30 percent – as well as some challenging news. We see, once again, that our priority states rank toward or at the bottom in overall child well-being.
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book also underscores significant inequities among U.S. children across race and ethnicity. In our priority states, as in many states, children of color continue to lag behind their white counterparts on almost every measure.
The new data validates what we believe at the Kellogg Foundation: If these places are to thrive in the future, it’s imperative that children and their families have the economic resources, education and healthy nutrition that will allow them to succeed.
While the latest data is sobering, it shows clearly where we need to concentrate our efforts and inspires us to continue working alongside communities in our priority places, where we are committed to change across generations.
The Kellogg Foundation will continue to use the annual Data Book as a tool to help guide our work on behalf of vulnerable children.