California Ranks 16th in Annual KidsCOUNT Data Book

The state of California ranks 16th in the 2011 KidsCOUNT Data Book, an annual profile of the status of children, released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Data Book ranks states on 10 measures of child well being, and California’s ranking this year is an improvement since last year’s rank of 19.

In fact, the 2011 Data Book shows improvements for California in many areas, including the number of babies born at a low birthweight, child and teen deaths, teen births, and teens ages 16-19 not in school.

Some areas, however, do not show improvement. Infant mortality rates have increased slightly in recent years, according to National KidsCOUNT indicators. Additionally, the number of children living in poverty and living in single-parent families has increased, the Data Book shows.

In order to address the impact of the recession on California children, this year’s Data Book includes two new indicators: the number of children affected by foreclosure, and households with at least one unemployed parent.

In California, nearly 1 million children have been affected by foreclosure since 2007. And, in 2010, 1.2 million California children had a parent who was unemployed. Overall, the economic well-being for low-income children and families in California has declined significantly in the past decade, according to the Data Book.

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