Minnesota Ranks 4th in New Child Well-Being Report
Carol McCarthy | Jun 17, 2019 AT 7:03 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota is doing well by its children when it comes to overall well-being, but child advocates say Minnesota's Native American children and children of color experience vast disparities in outcomes.
A new report measures child and family well-being in four areas, including health, education, economic well-being and family and community.
Jennifer Bertram, KIDS COUNT coordinator for Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, says the state legislature passed several measures in the 2019 session that invest in children, including outreach for the 2020 U.S. Census.
Bertram notes that funding for programs such as Head Start and the Children's Health Insurance Program is based on an accurate count.
"There's a lot at risk, and children under age five are the biggest category of undercounted individuals nationwide, but also we suspect in Minnesota, too," she states.
The 30th edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book was prepared by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Minnesota has consistently ranked toward the top in the annual report, including fourth among the 50 states this year.
Minnesota is one of several states at risk of losing one of its congressional seats based on the 2020 census - due to changes in population and headcount accuracy.
Leslie Boissiere, the Casey Foundation's vice president of v external affairs, says the 2010 census missed more than 2 million children under five years old and the upcoming count may miss even more if young children are not a priority.
"The future of our children, the future of our communities, the strength of our country is really tied on the ability to ensure that the census count is accurate, and to ensure that states and communities get the resources that they need to invest in the well-being of their families," she stresses.
The Casey Foundation notes areas of significant improvement in children's lives nationally over the past 30 years, including access to health care, decreased rates of teen childbearing and increased rates of high school graduation.