WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Report: Iowa Outscores Neighbors In Child Well-Being

Jul 23, 2014

A children’s advocacy group ranks Iowa third in the nation for child well-being while Illinois and Missouri fall toward the middle of the pack.

The annual Kids Count Report, which is authored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, examines more than a dozen indicators of child well-being, including economic, education, health and safety.

Percentage of Children Without Health Insurance: 2012
Credit Screen Cap of Kids Count 2014 report / Annie E. Casey Foundation

 Most of the statistics in the report are from 2012, which is the most recent year that data was available.

Iowa leads the nation in "health" with fewer deaths of children and teenagers and fewer low-birth weight babies than the average state.

The Foundation’s Associate Director for Policy Reform and Advocacy Laura Speer said those are areas where Missouri is lacking.           

“Compared to both Illinois and Iowa, Missouri has got a fairly high rate of children without health insurance coverage, so that’s an area where Missouri could certainly improve,” Speer said.

Illinois ranked 20th in the report, which is up three places from last year.

Missouri fell two spots to 29th in the nation.

Child Well-Being by State: 2014
Credit Screen Cap of Kids Count 2014 report / Annie E. Casey Foundation
The report also shows the number of children living in the Midwest fell from 2000-2010.  Speer said that trend is reversing itself, though, as job opportunities grow.