Minnesota 2nd In Kids’ Health, Nation Doing Worse

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the fourth year in a row, a new national report ranks Minnesota children second in the nation for health and well being.

The study, done annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is part of the Kids Count Data Book.

New Hampshire is the only state that did better than Minnesota. Wisconsin children ranked 12th in the nation for health and well being.

There was other good news to come out of this study — Minnesota and the nation saw improvements in infant mortality rates and child and teen death rates since 2000.

There are some concerning numbers when it comes to kids living in poverty. The study showed there are more poor children in Minnesota and across the country.

In 2009, 172,000 kids in Minnesota were living in poverty. That’s with a family of two adults, two children and an income below $22,000. The numbers represent poverty rate of 14 percent in the state — an increase of 56 percent since 2000.

Nationally, the report showed nearly 20 percent of kids in the U.S. are living in poverty.

Researchers said economic and social gains for kids that occurred in the 1990s stalled and because of the economic struggles in the last decade. Gains in the ’90s were wiped out.

The number of children living in single-parent homes in Minnesota went up. The study shows the numbers went from 21 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2009. Researchers said it’s because more couples are getting divorced, and more women are having children outside of marriage later in life.

The increase of single-parent homes in Minnesota was greater than in the nation.

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