Ala. ranks near bottom in 2012 Kids Count Data Book | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- The 2012 Kids Count Data Book was released Wednesday morning and Alabama is once again near the bottom of the list when it comes to child well-being. The survey ranks states based on economic, education, health, family and community factors.
Alabama is ranked 45th out of 50 for child well being. That's nothing to celebrate, but when you look at where we ranked in past years, advocates say the fact that the state is making progress is encouraging.
The study did show some positives. Alabama leads the country in improving reading scores and has shown improvement in the health category.
The survey also shows some challenges for our state, especially when it comes to family and community factors, like the number of children growing up in poverty.
This annual study, done by the Annie Casey Foundation, compares kids all over the country. Here in Alabama, it is administered by Voices for Alabama's Children, an advocacy group.
Linda Tilly, executive director of Voices for Alabama Children says, "Like the nation, we are seeing more families in poverty and we do have a high percentage, 28% of children in Alabama are living in poverty. This is kind of a new phenomena. We've long had generational poverty, but the recession brought on situational poverty and as a result...families are not having the resources that they otherwise would to provide the early learning, developmentally appropriate toys and extra enrichment in those kinds of things for children so we're hoping that the communities around the state will make up for those deficits."
Information from the study is typically given to the lawmakers and business community with the hope of generating ideas to help young people make smarter choices and live healthier lives.
Tilly goes on to say, "when we invest in all our children the whole community, as well as the state, thrives."
The Kids Count Data Book, which comes out every summer, has been released since 1990.
Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
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