Iowa ranks fifth in the latest report by a child advocacy group that attempts to measure the well-being of children across the U.S. The survey by “Kids Count” covers 10 areas the group has determined indicate the quality of life for kids in the state from 1990 through 2002. Spokesman Michael Crawford says Iowa improved in five of the ten areas.He says the infant mortality rate declined 20 percent to six-point-five per one-thousand births, the child death rate declined 15 percent, the number of teens having babies dropped 10 percent, the number of teens age 16 to 19 who were not working or in school dropped 43 percent, and the number of children living in poverty dropped 27 percent. Crawford says the state dropped in two areas, including the number of low birthweight babies.That’s babies that are below five pounds at birth, and it increased 13 percent, while the number of families that’re headed by a single parent increased 27 percent to one-in-four. Two other areas, high school drop outs and children living with a parent without a full-time job, stayed the same. Crawford says the high ranking shows Iowa prospered in that 10-year span. He says the economy in the state improved and that led to an increase in the well being of the children in the state. He says the ranking speaks well of the things done to help children in the state. Crawford says the economy has slowed down in recent years, but he says Iowa still is holding its own. He says Iowa is a good place to raise kids, and that’s why some of the people who move away move back and decide to raise a family here. Minnesota was the top ranked state in the survey, Mississippi ranked last. Iowa ranked fourth in last year’s survey. For more information, surf to:www.kidscount.org.
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