The annual “Kids Count” report indicates 110,000 Iowa children live in poverty. That’s more than the entire population of the City of Davenport. Ann Discher is with the Iowa Child and Family Policy Center and she was at the statehouse today to release the report.
“Things look good for a good number of kids. Things don’t look good for all kids,” Discher said. “Complacency is not justified by our numbers.”
Michael Crawford, the author of the “Kids Count” report, said Iowa kids are generally healthy.
“Teen birth rates are down, the mortality rates are down — health-wise, we’re good,” he said. “Economically, child poverty is still up. It’s up 44 percent in the last decade and a half. One in six kids still live in poverty.”
Crawford said the data shows some improvement in preschool through 12th grade education in Iowa, there are still areas of concern. About a quarter of Iowa 4th graders can’t read at that grade level — a statistic that basically hasn’t changed since 2003.
The “Kids Count” report is posted online here. It includes specific data for each of Iowa’s 99 counties.