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Idaho ranks 20th overall in new ‘Kids Count’ profile

While Idaho’s children are seeing gains in access to health care, education continues to lag, according to data in the 2017 “Kids Count” Data Book released recently the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Data Book focuses on key trends in child well-being in and measures child well-being in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Overall, Idaho ranks 20th.

•Under the economic well-being domain, where Idaho comes in at number 14 overall, the state saw increases in each category from results reported from 2010 to 2015.

Percentage of children in poverty in Idaho in 2010 was 19 percent, while it 2015 that number decreased to 18 percent (U.S. numbers were 22 and 21 percent, respectively).

The percentage of children whose parent slack secure employment went down 6 percent from 31 in 2010 to 25 in 2015 (33 and 29 in the U.S.). In the children living in households with a high housing cost burden, the percentage went from 36 to 25 percent (U.S. was 41 down to 33).

Under the teens not in school and not working domain, the numbers went from 11 percent in 2010 to 7 percent in 2015 (U.S. went down from 9 to 7 percent).

*Under the education domain, where Idaho ranks 43rd in all the states, the number of young children not in school went up from 64 percent (2009-11) to 69 percent (2013-15). The nation stayed about the same at 52 and then 53 percent.

Fourth graders not proficient in reading got better, from 68 (in 2009) to 64 percent in 2015 (U.S. at 68 and 65). Eighth graders not proficient in math worsened, 62 percent in 2009, to 66 percent in 2015 while the U.S. stayed about the same at 68 percent for 2015.

Number of teens not graduating on time in Idaho was 21 percent (2014-15) and 17 percent nationally.

•Idaho ranked 24th in the health domain.

Under low birth weight babies, the number was 6.6 percent in 2015 (6.8 percent in 2010) while the national average stayed the same at 8.1 percent for both years.

Children without health insurance in Idaho numbered 6 percent in 2015 or 25,000 (11 percent in 2010). In the U.S., that percentage was 5 percent, a three percent decrease from 2010.

Child and teen deaths per 100,000 numbered 28 in Idaho in 2010, dropping to 25 in 2015 (26 in 2010 nationwide and 25 in 2015).

The number of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs went down 2 percent from 2009-10, from 8 to 6 percent in 2013-14 (7 and 5 percent in the U.S.).

•In the family and community domain, Idaho comes in at 11th overall.

Under children in single parent families, Idaho stayed at 25 percent in 2010 and 2015 while the U.S. was relatively unchanged at 35 percent in 2015.

Children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma was 12 percent in 2010 and went down to 10 percent in 2015 (U.S. 15 down to 14 percent).

The number of children living in high poverty areas went up slightly, from 5 percent from 2008-12, to 6 percent from 2011-15 (nationally, 13 to 14 percent).

Teen births per 1,000 went down significantly from 33 in 2010 to 23 in 2015 (34 to 22 across the U.S.).


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