Minnesota ranks second in the nation for the well-being of children, according to Kids Count 2010. The Annie E. Casey Foundation compiles data on a set of standard measures that includes everything from low birth weight babies to parental unemployment, high school drop-out rate, and children in poverty. They use these to compute a summary measure and rank the states.
For anyone who teaches family sociology – or wants to know about the status of families – the Kids Count website and its links are a treasure trove. The original data – and its sources – are available to download and examine. Their reports make it easy to dive deep into particular topics; they usually highlight one particular aspect of child well-being.
Good rank doesn’t mean children are doing well
The data as well as the rankings are important. Minnesota ranks 2nd in the nation for the number of children in single-parent families (a family structure which research has shown to be related to a number of stresses and poorer outcomes). That sounds great – but we still have 25%, or one child in four, living in a single parent home in the past year.
The Kids Count Data Book always has some interesting tidbits – check it out!
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