Still Ranks 47th in Overall Child Well-Being According to the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book
(Reno, Nev.)– The Children’s Cabinet and the Annie E. Casey Foundation today, released its annual KIDS COUNT® Data Book in its 27th edition. The Data Book identifies national trends in child well-being over six years (2008-2014), comparing national and state level data related to 16 indicators of child well-being.
Although, nationally, many child well-being indicators improved since the recession, the U.S. child poverty rate increased from 18 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2014. The rate has proven to be somewhat intractable, as the 2014 rate, the latest data available, remained unchanged from the prior year.
Despite the challenging economic climate, the Data Book finds youth are healthier and more likely to graduate high school on time than teens of six years ago. Generation Z teenagers, the group that follows the Millennials, saw improvements in teen birth rates, the percentage of teens abusing drugs and alcohol and the percentage of high school students not graduating on time.
“Our community must fulfill the role of providing children and youth with the educational and economic opportunity that they deserve,” said Kathleen Sandoval, Director of Operations for The Children’s Cabinet.
In attendance were members from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), Renown, the State of Nevada and Washoe Tribe Family Services.
State Rankings for the 2016 Data Book
Nevada ranks 47th among the states in overall child well-being, the same position as last year. Of the four domains that comprise overall child well-being, each including four indicators, Nevada ranks 40th in health; 40th in economic well-being; 44th in family and community; and 49th in education. Nevada’s ranking improved over last year on all domains with the exception of family and community. Notable is Nevada’s economic well-being domain ranking, which rose from 46th to 40th place since the 2015 Data Book.
The three top-ranked states for overall child well-being are Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Iowa. Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi are the three lowest-ranked states.
Nevada improved in 11 of the 16 indicators over the past few years. All of the education indicators improved, as did three health indicators, two family and community indicators and two economic well-being indicators. The indicators that worsened include the percentage of children who live in poverty, the percentage of children living in high-poverty areas, the percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment, the percentage of children in single-parent families and the percentage of low-birthweight babies.
Nevada’s highest rankings in individual indicators are the percentage of teens abusing alcohol and drugs (5th) and the child and teen death rate (22nd). Nevada lowest rankings include the percentage of high school students not graduating on time (50th), percentage of children ages 3 and 4 not attending school (49th) and percentage of children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma (48th).
The following presents selected child well-being indicator trends for Nevada:
In 2014, 22 percent of Nevada children under age 18 lived in poverty, increasing from 15 percent in 2008 (a 47 percent increase). Nevada ranks 29th among the states on this indicator. The poverty rate decreased by 1 percentage point from 2013 to 2014.
In 2013-2014, 5 percent of Nevada children ages 12 to 17 abused alcohol or drugs during the past year, declining from 9 percent in 2007-2008 (a 44 percent decrease). Nevada ranks 5th on this indicator.
In 2014, the teen birth rate was 29 live births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19, falling from 49 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in 2008 (a 41 percent decrease). Nevada ranks 38th on this indicator.
In 2012-2014, 68 percent of Nevada children ages 3 to 4 did not attend school, decreasing from 70 percent in 2007-2009 (a 3 percent decrease). Nevada ranks 49th on this indicator.
In 2012-2013, 33 percent of Nevada high school students did not graduate on time, decreasing from 44 percent in 2007-2008 (a 25 percent decrease). Nevada ranks 50th on this indicator.
In 2014, 10 percent of Nevada children under age 18 were not covered by any health insurance, decreasing from 20 percent in 2008 (a 50 percent decrease). Nevada ranks 47th on this indicator.
Rennae Daneshvary, director of Nevada KIDS COUNT said, “Similar to Generation Z teenagers nationwide, teenagers in Nevada experienced improvements in birth rates, drug and alcohol abuse levels and in high school students graduating on time. Our teenagers appear to have made prudent choices during our state’s economic recovery from the Great Recession. Many, however, will continue to face difficult challenges because of their economic status. Nevada’s 2014 child poverty rate improved slightly from 2013 and significantly worsened since 2008 – 144,000 Nevada children live in poverty.”
The 2016 Data Book is available at www.aecf.org. Additional information is available at http://databook.kidscount.org, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being. The Data Center allows users to create rankings, maps and graphs for use in publications and on websites, and to view real-time information on mobile devices.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, building paths to economic opportunity and transforming struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.
About The Children’s Cabinet:
Celebrating 30 years of supporting children and families, The Children’s Cabinet exists to keep children safe and families together by offering services and resources that address unmet needs through a unique and cooperative effort between the private sector and public agencies in Nevada. The Children’s Cabinet serves 11,000 Nevada families annually. Services including, providing food, shelter, and crisis intervention, child care assistance, academic support, parenting classes and family counseling.