June 26, 2017
Meghan Farrell, Communications Coordinator
603-225-9540 Ext. 129
NEW HAMPSHIRE RANKS NUMBER ONE FOR CHILD WELL-BEING, BUT THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE
Granite State still needs support to improve the health and well-being for all children in New Hampshire
CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire ranks number one in overall child well-being, according to the 2017 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a landmark achievement for the Granite State.
“Although New Hampshire values its place as the number one state for child well-being according to the 2017 Data Book, positive policies for Granite State children and families must be enacted to ensure that we keep our top spot and that New Hampshire remains a great place to live and raise a family,” said Rebecca Woitkowski, early childhood policy coordinator at New Futures. “Up to this point, local communities have stepped up to the plate to ensure child well-being even when state investments are lacking. Going forward, our lawmakers should be looking to address some major issues facing our state when it comes to supporting children, including child protection and the continuing opiate crisis.”
The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four domains – health, education, economic well-being and family and community – that represent what children need most to thrive. New Hampshire ranks:
- Fourth in economic well-being. New Hampshire had the lowest rates of child poverty at 11 percent in the nation, with 28,000 New Hampshire children living below the federal poverty line. However, that number doesn’t necessarily take into account the high cost of living in New Hampshire, as told by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.
- Third in education. New Hampshire ranked sixth in the nation for the number of 3-and-4-year olds not enrolled in school. Forty-seven percent of young children are not receiving early education, which research has demonstrated is critical for development and long-term success.
- 18th in health. A continued area of concern in the Granite State is the number of young people ages 12 to 17 who abused alcohol or drugs. New Hampshire ranks 35th in this indicator and is at a rate 10 percent higher than the national average. Research shows that fighting adverse childhood experiences in early childhood help to mitigate future substance misuse.
- Second in family and community. The number of children living in single-parent families, 30%, and the number of children living in high-poverty areas, 3%, have both shown negative trends since 2010, when those numbers were 27% and 1% respectively.
The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book will be available June 13 at 12:01 a.m. EDT at www.aecf.org. Additional information is available at www.aecf.org/databook, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being. Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs and rankings in stories about the Data Book can use the KIDS COUNT Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org.
New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents. New Futures Kids Count is a branch of New Futures focused on collecting and disseminating critical and reliable state-level data, policy recommendations, and tools for legislators, public officials, and advocates to advance positive policies for Granite State children and families. Learn more at www.New-Futures.org/KidsCount.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.