kidscount_web22002 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The 2002 KIDS COUNT Data Book, a state-by-state study that reports on the well-being of America's children, ranks Massachusetts 6th among all states. This is down from being ranked 4th last year.

Child Well-Being At A Glance:

In the Data Book, Massachusetts improved on seven of 10 measures that reflect child well-being in the 1990s, but experienced setbacks in the categores of low-birthweight babies and single-parent families. One other indicator, its child poverty rate, remained unchanged.

Many kids growing up in low-income working families
face uncertain futures.

There are 172,000 children in Massachusetts who are poor or nearly poor despite having at least on parent working all year. The report shows that 12 percent of all children in Massachusetts live in low-income working families, compared to 15 percent nationwide. Studies show that kids growing up in low-income families are more likely to fail in school, more likely to become teen parents, and less likely to achieve economic success as adults.

Massachusetts has fewer high school dropouts at the end of the 1990s.
IN 1990, nine percent of Massachusetts teens ages 16-19 were high school dropouts. By 1999, that rate had fallen 38 percent to six percent. Massachusetts ranked 3rd in the country on this measure.

Rate of teen deaths by accident, homicide, or suicide falls more than 40 percent.
In 1990, Massachusetts experienced 48 deaths per 100,000 teens ages 15-19 due to accident, homicide, and suicide. By 1999, that number had plunged to 28 deaths per 100,000, compared to 53 nationwide. Massachusetts ranked 3rd nationwide on this indicator.

Child death rate in Massachusetts declines dramatically during the 1990s.
In 1999, Massachusetts experienced 14 deaths per 100,000 children ages 1-14, down 30 percent from 20 deaths per 100,000 in 1990. Massachusetts ranked 2nd on this measure.

No improvement in child poverty during the decade.
Despite a robust economy during most of the 1990s, the child poverty rate in Massachusetts stayed at 14 percent. Still, the rate in Massachusetts was lower than the national average of 19 percent in 1999. Massachusetts ranked 8th on this measure.

Massachusetts fourth graders outperform the rest of country on math NAEP test.
Just over one-fifth (21 percent) of Massachusetts fourth graders scored below the basic level on the NAEP Mathematics Assessment in 2000, compared with one-third nationwide. Among states that have reported these results, Massachusetts ranked first.

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