Iowa ranks ninth overall for child well-being in an annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The Kids Count report ranks states on economic well-being, education, and health, as well as family and community. Anne Discher is executive director of Common Good Iowa, which worked on the state’s data. She says despite Iowa’s high ranking, there’s still a lot of work to be done for children and families.
“In 2019, there were 92,000 kids in Iowa that lived in households with an income below the poverty line,” Discher says. “For a family of three, that’s around $32,000 a year and that is families living with very low incomes.” Discher says Iowa’s top-ten ranking is deceptive, as more than one in ten households with children report being food insecure.
“The data is much higher for many groups of color in our community,” Discher says. “Thirty percent of black households with children, 18% of Latino households, 21% of households identifying as multiracial or of some other race, reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough food to eat.”
The report recommends permanently expanding the federal child tax credit and strengthening state and local policies affecting families.
(By Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio)