Florida dropped to 40th place in a ranking of states for overall child well-being in the latest Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Despite a 50% increase in the percentage of Florida children with health insurance since 2008, Florida was one of the worst performing states when it comes to children’s healthcare ranking 47th. The report also finds that 24% of Florida kids are living in poverty. That number hasn’t changed much and stands slightly above the national average of 22%.
The new data isn’t all bad news, though. When it comes to education, Florida ranked 30th in the nation with more fourth graders reading at grade level, more high school students graduating on time and fewer instances of teen births and the rate of teens abusing drugs and alcohol down 14% since 2008.
We’ll take a closer look at what the data indicates about the welfare of children in Florida compared to the rest of the nation, and trends in child well-fare in the post-recession era.
Laura Speer, Associate Director for Policy Reform Advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation