Kid Stuff: We’re No. 39

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in its National Kids Count Data Book released today, ranked Tennessee 39th in the nation for the overall well being of children.
From the News Sentinel account:
According to the report, since 2000 Tennessee has decreased its infant mortality rate by 9 percent (although, at 8 deaths per 1,000 live births, it’s still higher than the national rate of 6). It’s decreased the death rate of children ages 1-14 by 29 percent (putting it almost on par with the national rate) and the teen death rate by 7 percent (still, at 84 per 100,000, higher than the national rate of 62). Accidents, homicide and suicide are the leading causes of teen deaths.
Though the percentage of low birth weight babies remained unchanged (and still 10 percent higher than the national average), the state teen birthrate, 56 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, has decreased by 5 percent (the national rate is 41). Despite improving, Tennessee still ranks in the bottom 40 states in most of those categories.
The percentage of children living in poverty, defined by the foundation as $21,756 or less annually for a family of four, went up in Tennessee and nationally. Almost a quarter of Tennessee’s children live in poverty, the report said, a 20 percent increase over the 2000 statistics.
In addition, the percentage of Tennessee children living in single-parent families — 36 percent — jumped nearly 10 percent since the 2000 report. This year’s report also noted 35 percent of Tennessee children live in families where no parent has full-time year-round employment, compared to 31 percent nationally. In 2010, 11 percent of children had at least one unemployed parent.

Links: the main kids count webpage HERE, the Tennessee information webpage HERE.

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