New Jersey gets high marks for kids’ well-being
A new report that ranks states based on the well being of children says kids in New Jersey are pretty well off. The annual Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Kids Count Data Book” ranks us sixth in the country.
For the rankings, the foundation analyzed the latest federal data for 16 different indicators across four categories: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.
In economic well-being, New Jersey ranked 21, but showed improvement in all categories: children in poverty, children whose parents lack secure employment, children living in households with a high housing cost burden, and teens not in school and not working.
For education, we were number 1 overall, with improvements in three of the four categories: young children not in school, fourth graders not proficient in reading, and high school students not graduating on time. In the fourth category, eighth graders not proficient in math, New Jersey stayed the same.
In the health category, New Jersey ranked 14 with all four divisions showing improvement: low birth weight babies, children without health insurance, child and teen deaths per 100,000, and children and teens who are overweight or obese.
In the final category, family and community, we came in 17. The only area in which New Jersey performed worse than in 2010 was in this category: children in single parent families. In children in families where the head of the household lacks a high school diploma, we improved; for children living in high poverty areas, New Jersey stayed the same, and in teen births per 1,000, we improved.
As reported by Patch.com, the data was primarily assembled pre-pandemic and researchers anticipate a step back when those numbers come in.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.