Iowa has fallen a few notches on an annual report that ranks the states based on the quality of children’s lives, but the Hawkeye State remains in the top ten.

Michael Crawford, senior associate at the Des Moines-based Child and Family Policy Center, says Iowa’s grades are still very good in the ten main categories, or indicators.

“Iowa ranks 8th overall on the 2011 national Kids Count report on child wellbeing, a drop of two places from last year,” Crawford says. “We do rank 2nd on two indicators, children with secure parental employment and teens attending school or working.”

Other factors used in the survey include: child abuse and neglect, food assistance, unemployment, teen birth rates and poverty rates.

While Iowa fell a two slots, Crawford notes that the state has moved up in several categories and has one of the nation’s best high school graduation rates.

Crawford says, “The state also has improved since 2000 on its child mortality indicators but has deteriorated in the percentage of children living in poverty and in single-parent families, two areas in which it is extremely important, even in tight budgetary times, to provide needed supports and programs to create improvement.”

See the full report for Iowa and all states at