Posted on | August 18, 2011 | Comments Off
According to data released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book, Hawaiʻi ranks 26th in key indicators of child health and well-being. Mānoa’s Center on the Family serves as the state’s KIDS COUNT affiliate.
The 2011 data book highlights children in Hawaiʻi have experienced:
• Improvements in infant mortality rate, teen death rate and teen birth rate since 2000.
• A worsening in the percentage of low-birthweight babies, child death rate, percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates, percentage of children in poverty and percentage of children in single-parent families since 2000.
• Comparable data going back to 2000 were not available for the percentage of teens not attending school and not working, and the percentage of children living in families in which no parent has full-time, year-round employment. However, both indicators worsened between 2008 and 2009.
“The good news is that, over the past decade, Hawaiʻi has shown improvement in the infant mortality rate, the teen death rate and the teen birth rate,” says Ivette Rodriguez Stern, Mānoa junior specialist and director of Hawaiʻi KIDS COUNT. “In addition, while the percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates—the dropout rate—has worsened when compared with 2000 data, there was slight improvement between 2008 and 2009. So, hopefully, we’ve turned the corner.”
“Of concern, however, is Hawaiʻi’s overall rank—a composite index of child-well being. Hawaiʻi continues to slip in rank, going from 11 in the mid-2000s to 26 based on the most recent data.”
In acknowledging this trend, Director of the Center on the Family Grace Fong says, “While there are many complex factors that have contributed to this decline over the past several years, this downward trend cannot be ignored. The investments we make in our children now are investments we make in our state’s future.”
The KIDS COUNT Data Book with state-by-state rankings and supplemental data may be viewed at the KIDS COUNT website. For interactive Hawaiʻi KIDS COUNT data, visit the Hawaiʻi profile page. Users can download the complete data book and create interactive maps and graphs. Visit the new mobile site being launched in conjunction with this year’s data book from a smartphone, such as the Droid, BlackBerry or iPhone.