Data released by the 2017 Kids County Data Book shows that Mississippi has improved but is still facing major challenges due to high poverty.
The data book was released y the Annie E. Casey Foundation and revealed a number of children are without health insurance in Mississippi.
The book uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four different categories; health, education, economic well-being and family and community. These categories represent what children need most to thrive.
“From the last reporting period on those 16 indicators Mississippi is better on 12, worse on three and remain the same on one. However, we still rank 50th,” said Linda Southward with Kids Count.
Mississippi ranked 48th in health and education and 50th in economic well-being, and family and community.
For health they look at the percentage of children who lack health insurance, child and teen death rates, low birth weight babies, and alcohol or drug abuse among teens.
The education domains looks at the percentage of children ages three and four who are not attending school; fourth graders not proficient in reading; eighth graders not proficient in math; and high school students not graduating on time.
Economic well-being examines data related to child poverty, family employment, housing costs and whether older teens not in school are working.
The final domain, family and community, looks at the percentage of children living in high-poverty areas, single parent households and education levels among heads of households as well as teen birth rates.
“Our goal at Mississippi Kids Count is to be the leading resource for comprehensive on Mississippi’s children and we want to serve as a catalyst for increasing outcomes based on the data we report,” said Southward.