Laura Speer, a spokeswoman for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says they look at 16 key criteria, including: education, health, economic wellbeing, and family and community conditions.
“In this year’s Kids Count Data Book, Nebraska was ranked 10th overall in terms of the wellbeing of its children,” Speer says. “Kids and families in Nebraska are doing best in the area of economic wellbeing and in fact, the state ranked 3rd overall for the economic wellbeing of its children.”
Nebraska’s tenth-place overall ranking is the same as the 2014 survey. Minnesota ranked first overall on this year’s report, followed by New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Nebraska remained in the top ten, despite some failures.
“On the family and community domain, and in health, Nebraska is lagging behind the most,” Speer says. “In fact, in the health domain, the state is ranked 26th overall in terms of the wellbeing of its children.”
The report offers one area in which the state saw a dramatic improvement:
“In Nebraska, the teen birthrate went from 36 births per 1,000 teens down to 25 births per 1,000 teens in just five years,” Speer says. “That’s a pretty substantial decline and something that really can have great implications for the future since there will be fewer teen parents in the state.”
The lowest-ranked states on the list are: Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi. See the full report at the Annie E. Casey Foundation website: www.aecf.org.