2004 Kids Count Data BookChild Well-Being in Massachusetts at a Glance
Massachusetts ranks 9th among all states in the 2004 Kids Count Data Book, which reports on the well-being of America's children. This is the same ranking as 2003, before which the state had slipped from 5th and 4th in preceding years. The 2004 KIDS COUNT Data Book reveals that Massachusetts improved in four out of 10 measures that reflect child well-being between 1996 and 2001, experiencing a setback in three measures and no change in three others. This year's report also highlights important factors related to the successful transition from childhood to adulthood.
Massachusetts earns its highest rankings from low death rates for kids.
Massachusetts ranks third best among all states in its rates for infant mortality, child deaths (ages 1-14), and teen deaths (ages 15-17). Its rates in infant mortality and teen death rates remained unchanged from 1996 to 2001, while the child death rate dropped from 17 to 15 deaths per 100,000.
Teen birth rate continues to fall
Massachusetts' teen birth rate continued its decade-long decline as it dropped to 14 births per 1,000 teens age 15-19 in 2001; ranking the state fifth best in the country.
12% percent of children in poverty is lowest rate in a decade.
In 2000, 12 percent of children lived in poverty in Massachusetts, a 20-percent improvement from 15 percent in 1995, earning a rank of 9th in this measure. In 2001, 6% of all children lived in extreme poverty (income below 50% of poverty level.)
Despite improvements, 25% of children have no parent with full-time year-round employment.
Massachusetts' worst ranking is for secure parental employment, where it ranked 26th. Though the numbers improved since 1996, 25 percent of Massachusetts' children in 2001 did not have a parent with full-time, year-round employment. The national average was also 25 percent.
11 percent of Massachusetts' young adults lack job, post-high school education.
In 2002, 55,000 Massachusetts young adults, ages 18-24, were not working, not in school and did not have a degree beyond high school. Nationwide, there were more than 3.8 million disconnected young adults.
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