The latest survey by a child advocacy group shows improvement for the Hawkeye state.The survey by the group “Kids Count” ranks states on 10 factors that are supposed to reflect the well being of children. Michael Crawford of the Child and Family Center in Des Moines says Iowa moved from sixth to fourth in the rankings. He says the states ranked two through nine are so close, any state in the top ten is doing pretty good. Minnesota ranked number one. Crawford says Iowa improved in a couple of key areas — including infant mortality rateThat’s the death rate for kids before the age of one. It’s improved by about 30-percent in the past 10 years and there was an improvement in the number of what Crawford calls “idle teens”: kids who’ve graduated from high school but aren’t working or going to college. That “idle teen” rate in Iowa has improved 43 percent in the past decade. Iowa lost ground in the number of low birthweight babies — babies that’re born at less than five-and-a-half pounds — by 15-percent in the last ten years. The number of single parent families increased by 20-percent over the last ten years. Crawford says Iowans expect a good quality of life and the state is good for kids.For the entire “Kids Count” report, surf to www.kidscount.org.
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