PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island ranks 31st in the nation for overall child well-being, and last among New England states, according to the 26th annual 2015 Kids Count data book released Tuesday.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation issued the national state-by-state report on children’s well-being. States are ranked from best to worst, with the No. 1 ranking being the best.
Rhode Island was among six states with the biggest drops in overall rankings: West Virginia, Indiana, Virginia, Arkansas, and Vermont. The ranking of 31st is a drop from 26th, which was Rhode Island’s rank for the two previous years.
The report shows how Rhode Island compares with other states on key measures of child well-being, said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count.
“We are doing well in some areas such as fewer low birthweight babies and births to teens,” Bryant said, “and we have work to do in other key areas, including parental education levels and secure parental employment, which are related to our high rate of childhood poverty.”
About 1.7 million more U.S. children live in low-income working families today than during the Great Recession, according to the data book. Nationwide, in 2013, one in four children, or 18.7 million, lived in a low-income working family. Nearly a third of children are living in families where no parent is employed full time. And even when parents are working full time, wages and benefits are often insufficient, the report states.
Rhode Island Kids Count will present data on Providence children and families on July 23, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., at Everett Company Stage School at 9 Duncan Ave. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
The presentation, followed by discussion, will highlight trends regarding the health, economic well-being, safety, and education of Providence’s children.