31st KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

22 June 2020 Published in Press Release Archive

For immediate release

Contact: Terry Haven, , 801-364-1182 or 801-554-6570

Utah Ranks Fourth Overall in Child Well-Being, But Falls Near the Bottom (41st) for Children Without Health Insurance

31st KIDS COUNT® Data Book provides the most comprehensive annual report on child well-being in the United States and shows Utah still struggles in some health areas.

SALT LAKE CITY —Utah ranked fourth among states for overall child well-being, according to the 31st edition of the KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Among the four domains, Utah ranked highest in family and community, landing in the number one spot, and lowest in health, ranking 13th among all the states. The 2020 KIDS COUNT® Data Book is the most comprehensive annual report on child well-being in the United States and notes measurable progress since the first Data Book, which was published in 1990. Nevertheless, almost 90,000 Utah children lived in poverty according to the latest data and serious racial and ethnic disparities persist.   

“A ranking of fourth is a great place to be,” said Terry Haven, Deputy Director of Voices for Utah Children. “The Data Book can tell us how to get to number one if that’s where we want to be.”

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four domains — health, education, economic well-being and family and community — as an assessment of child well-being. Utah improved their ranking or stayed the same in all four domains. Utah ranks:

  • Second in economic well-being. Utah rose in ranking from fourth to second in economic well-being. However, 23% of Utah kids lived in households with high housing cost burdens and almost 90,000 Utah children still lived in poverty in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. (All of the data in this year’s report is from prior to the COVID-19 crisis.)
  • 10th in education. Utah rose in ranking from 13th to 10th. The good news is that Utah has made improvement in the percent of young children (ages 3 and 4) who were in preschool, even though the state still lags behind the national average in this area.
  • First in the family and community domain. Utah remained number one in this domain, improving or staying the same in all four indicators. However, Utah did see a slight increase in the number of children in single-parent families from 2017 to 2018, even though the percentage remained the same.
  • 13th in health. Utah’s health ranking in the 2019 Data Book was 21st, although because one of the four measures of child health comprising the indicator changed, the rankings cannot be directly compared. Utah lagged behind the rest of the nation with regard to the percentage of children who lacked health insurance.

Release Information:

The 2020 KIDS COUNT® Data Book will be available June 22 at 12:01 a.m. EDT at www.aecf.org. Additional information is available at www.aecf.org/databook . Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs, and rankings in stories about the Data Book can use the KIDS COUNT® Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org

About Voices for Utah Children:

At Voices for Utah Children, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. And to achieve this vision, we make sure all kids are ready to learn and they and their families are healthy and economically secure. For more information, visit www.utahchildren.org.

About the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.

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