A national child advocacy organization has released a report that ranks the states on several child well-being indicators. Tom LaPointe, Iowa Field Director for Every Child Matters, says Iowa’s overall ranking in the report is seventh.
"I think overall, Iowa has a lot to be taking a bow for, but there’s room for improvement," Lapointe told Radio Iowa. Vermont tops the list, while Louisiana is ranked last. LaPointe says one area of concern for Iowa is the percentage of kids in detention facilities. Iowa’s ranking in that category is 30th.
LaPointe says state officials should review the juvenile incarceration numbers and consider ways to improve the state’s ranking. Iowa ranks in the top five in three of the report’s 10 categories. "Infant mortality numbers are very positive for Iowa. Teen deaths also provide a positive indicator in terms of where Iowa is at…not withstanding an occasional story where a teenager is involved in a fatality involving an automobile or that sort of thing," LaPointe said.
In Iowa, the report claims, for every 1,000 births, there are five infant deaths. Nationwide, the report shows that infants in the lowest ranking states are twice as likely to die in their first year compared to the highest ranking state. Children are three times more likely to die in the lower ranking states between the ages of one and 14. See the full report on the Every Child Matters website.