Report shows improvement in economic well-being, but also an increase in poverty

Jul 27, 2012

A new report shows Nebraska ranks second in the nation in economic well-being, but child welfare advocates say it isn’t all good news.

The Kids Count report was released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It looks at 16 indicators of overall well-being, including the economy, access to health care, and education.

Nebraska ranked ninth nation-wide in the area of overall child well-being. But Melissa Breazile of Voices for Children says there are still significant concerns. “Looking at children in poverty, we’re actually worse off than we were in 2005. We saw that 18 percent of kids in 2010 were living in poverty, so that’s almost one out of five. So while we are stacking up better relative to other states, we aren’t doing as well relative to ourselves.”

The Nebraska indicators show 28 percent of children lived in single parent families in 2010, up from 25 percent in 2005.

In 2010, the number of uninsured Nebraska children dropped 14 percent. But the number of kids whose parents or guardians don’t have secure employment rose to 24 percent.

Iowa ranks third nationwide in economic well-being, and eighth in overall child well-being.