After jumping three spots last year to No. 42, South Carolina climbed one more this year and showed improvements in the health and economic well-being for children in the state.
The state still ranked 41 in the nation.
A national study released Tuesday revealed significant deficits in the state:
- 56 percent of 3- and 4- year olds are not attending school;
- 67 percent of fourth graders are not proficient in reading;
- 74 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in math; and
- 27 percent of children live in poverty
Children’s Trust Chief Executive Officer Sue Williams called the advances a positive step, though.
“We see slow and steady progress for children and their families, especially where we are making investments in prevention and using proactive public health strategies that work to give children a great start in life. Fewer children are being born at a low birth weight, and more children have access to heath care,” said Williams.
There are several improvements noted in the study. The child and teen death rate, teen birth rate, and percent of teens abusing drugs and alcohol have all decreased significantly since 2008.
“For South Carolina to rise out of the bottom 10, we must help parents earn what it takes to support a family, and we must work to ensure children are getting the education they need for the future,” said Williams. “With education and financial security, families have more opportunity to succeed, and that can have a significant impact to reduce the stressors that can lead to child abuse and neglect.”
The 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book measures child well-being in all 50 states and in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. This information is available in the KIDS COUNT Data Center, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being.