HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut is the seventh-best state for child well-being, according to a national study looking at health, education, community and economic factors.
The rankings were announced Wednesday and outlined in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 Kids Count Data Book. The annual study gave its highest overall marks to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, while Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi received the lowest overall scores.
Connecticut received its highest marks in education, in which it ranked fifth, and health, in which it ranked sixth overall. It rounded out the top 10 for economic well-being and ranked 12th for family and community.
According to the study, Connecticut saw decreases in the number of children not attending preschool, children without health insurance and teen births. Meanwhile, there were increases in the number of children living in high-poverty areas, high school students not graduating on time and children whose parents lack secure employment.
Jude Carroll, Director of the Connecticut Kids Count Project at the Connecticut Association for Human Services, said the data reflect that families in the state continue to struggle with the economic downturn.
“The long arm of the recession still has a grip on children, families, and our cities and towns,” she said in a statement.
According to the study’s national analysis, from 2005 to 2010, the number of children living in poverty-level households rose by 2.4 million, with child poverty rates increasing in 43 states.
The report is based on the most recent federal data, primarily from 2010, which looks at well-being indicators in the areas of health, economic stability, education, and family and community. This year’s report marks the first time 16 indicators rather than 10 were used to rank states. Study experts this expanded methodology provides a more comprehensive look.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)