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Despite Some Gains, Texas Still Ranks Near Bottom for Kids' Well-Being

A baby's hand
A new study analyzes four areas of childhood well-being, including health, economic status and education.

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to kids and their well-being, Texas isn't doing a very good job. In fact, the state ranks very close to the bottom of the list – at 43.

That ranking comes from the latest "Kids Count" study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which looked at areas like education rankings and the number of children without health insurance.


Jennifer Lee, a research associate with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, says the ranking looks at four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. The data is tallied for each state and the rankings come from that. Texas did worst in the county in family and community.

"Family and community looks at some of the surrounding environment of children," she says, "so, for example, what percentage of children live in a high-poverty neighborhood? We know from research that living in a high-poverty neighborhood often comes with some negative impacts on child well-being."

What you'll hear in this segment:

– What improvements Texas made in children's health

– Why Texas has consistently ranked in the bottom

– How Texas families continue to struggle financially

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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