Montana Improves Ranking For Child Well Being – Barely [YouTube]
Montana may be a desirable place to live, but when it comes to children's health and well-being, Montana still leaves a great deal to be desired.
The 2015 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation was recently released. It measures child well-being in four areas; economic well-being, education, health, and family and community
Thale Dillon, Director of Montana Kids Count at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, said Montana has in recent years, ranked dead last in the category of children's health.
"We're up by one spot," Dillon said. "We went from being dead last in children's health in this state, to being 47th., which is not much of an improvement, but an improvement nonetheless."
Dillon said there were other areas where Montana improved its ranking nationwide.
"The areas where we improved were in the number of children not covered by health insurance, that number keeps going down," she said. "The number of children that die each year, that number keeps going down. And the number of children and teenagers who abuse alcohol and drugs, that number keeps going down, as well."
Dillon said the number of children living in poverty has not improved.
"One of the problems that this report highlights is that even though the state and the country are climbing out of the recession, the children are being left behind," she said. "Even with that, the bad news is that there are states where the children are doing even worse."
The report states that more than 47,000 Montana children, or 21 percent of the total child population, live in poverty. Since the 2014 report,Montana’s overall ranking improved one spot from 31st in the nation, to 30th.