The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity, recently released the 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book. The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annually published resource that provides data concerning the well-being of children on a state-by-state level.
With the release of the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book, Texas was found to rank 41st out of all 50 states. This ranking is a slight improvement over last year’s ranking of 43rd, but it still leaves us among the worst states for childhood well-being. Texas has ranked in the bottom 10 states since 2012.
The report creates rankings based on four separate domains: education, economic well-being, health, and family and community. In each domain, Texas ranked 30th, 39th, 39th, and 47th respectively.
One in 10 high school students do not graduate on time, but this is a slight improvement from the previous few years. Texas did however become worse concerning eighth-graders not proficient in math, jumping from 64% to 67%. Texas also did not improve upon the number of children ages 3 and 4 who are not in school, leaving the number at 57%.
Economic Well-being (39th)
Similar to family and community, economic well-being parameters all improved over previous year’s measurements. The largest improvement was for children living in households with a high housing cost burden with a change of 6%, bringing the current metric to 31%.
Concerning health, Texas children are less likely to be without health insurance compared to previous years. Additionally, teens are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. Children and teen deaths per 100,000 did slightly increase from 26 to 27.
Family & Community (47th)
Texas improved on all four parameters measured under the Family and Community domain, but it is still our lowest rank by far at 47th. Texas’ largest improvement was cutting the teen births per 1,000 metric almost in half in the last few years – from 52 to 28 – although Texas still remains one of the 10 worst states for the rate of teen births.
The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an invaluable resource for child welfare stakeholders, as we continue to advocate for the best conditions possible for the children of Texas. Read the KIDS COUNT data book and the Texas-specific profile, and visit The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s website for more.