Massachusetts Is The Best Place To Raise Children

Alyson Penn

The children's charity, Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), just released its rankings of the states that have the best overall child well-being, and Massachusetts was the winner.

Crunching state-based and national education, health, economics, and family life statistics, the philanthropic organization came up with an algorithm that determined the best and worst states to raise a child.

Although they looked at multiple factors within each section, Massachusetts came on top overall, ranking number one specifically in education (they had the highest percentage of fourth graders on a proficient reading level, and 8th graders on proficient math level), and number two in the health (with the highest amount of children with health coverage, and lowest child death rate).

The other states that rounded out the top ten (in order) are: Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire, Minnesota, North Dakota, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, and Nebraska.

Conversely, Mississippi was ranked the lowest in overall child well-being, also ranking 50th in family life (almost 50% live in single-parent households) and 50th in economic well-being (with the highest rate of child poverty). 

The rest of the states that made up the ten worst for child well-being overall are: New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas.

These are the top 15 and bottom 15:

Some other interesting statistics from the study included the fact that well over a majority of students are still not reading at a proficient 4th grade level...

...or have proficient math skills in 8th grade (but these are vast improvements from 1992).

And sticking to education, it seems even though economic conditions have worsened, education well-being overall has improved.

But some minorities are still way behind in reading and math proficiency.

You can read more statistics from AECF's KIDS COUNT Data Book

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