Iowa ranked in the top ten again this year in the annual “Kids Count” survey that ranks states based on 10 factors that are supposed to make them good places to raise kids. Michael Crawford, the director of Iowa Kids Count, says Iowa moved up from its eighth place ranking last year.
Crawford says Iowa ranked sixth this year in the national data book, and he says the state has consistently ranked in the top ten in the 20 years the book has been put out. He says however, when you look at the last seven years, the state still has some areas to improve. Crawford says there are a couple or areas of concern.
He says percentage of babies born at a low birth rate, or below five-and-a-half pounds has increased by about 13% since 2000. Crawford also says the number of kids living in a family where no parent has full-time, year-round employment, has increased by 17% since 2000. Crawford says there are many good signs too.
Crawford says the state does well in the mortality rates, with infant mortality, and child and teen death rates all decreasing more than 20% since 2000. Crawford says this report only includes data through 2007, so this report does not give a true picture of the current economic factors that impact on the lives of Iowa kids.
Crawford says the economic downturn started 12 to 18 months ago, so this data won’t reflect that. “So I think next year the numbers may even be worse for some of the economic indicators. New Hampshire ranked as the top state in the survey, followed by Minnesota, Utah, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
You can see the entire survey, and more individual data on the Kids Count website .