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Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2015 KIDS COUNT Report

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book report on child well-being and ranked Maine 12th among all the states. The 2015 Data Book measures child well-being in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. While Maine's overall ranking improved slightly from previous years, it is still ranked lowest among the northern New England states. And for the first time in a decade, a non-New England state ranks first in overall child well-being (Minnesota). 
 
Maine ranks lowest in child well-being among northern New England states
State Rank
Maine 12
New Hampshire 2
Massachusetts 3
Connecticut 6

The report finds that number of children in poverty, as well as the number of children living in high-poverty areas and the number whose parents lack secure employement, worsened from previous years (leading to the WCSH headline, "2015 Kids Count shows Maine sinking lower into poverty"). One in five children are in poverty in Maine. "Maine's economy is not working for all our children. Too many kids are living in families where no parent has full time work, where housing costs take up a large portion of the faily budget, or where ages don't meet the basic needs of a family," said Claire Berkowitz, executive director of the Maine Children's Alliance, which produces the state-level Maine KIDS COUNT reports. 

There were bright spots. There were a number of improvements in education: more children attending preschool, more high schoolers graduating on time, and improved proficiency rates for 4th graders and 8th graders. There were also improvements in health: the teen birth rate is at a historic low and the death rate for children and teens has fallen. 

There's a nice infographic summarizing the findings:

Kids Count Profile - Maine Infographic

See the full report here, or dig into the Maine indicators here