New survey shows areas can improve kids' lives


Reporter - Briana Conner

PADUCAH, Ky. — New numbers released Monday are giving us a look into what life is like for kids in America, broken down state by state. The study, done by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, has kept track of kids' well-being for the past 24 years. This time around, they're focusing specifically on how things have improved for the youngest Americans as we continue digging ourselves out of the recession.
This year, three of our four states slipped in the rankings, meaning that life for kids in only one of our states has gotten better since 2012. Illinois is the only state in the top half of the rankings, but they fell from 21st to 23rd place this year. Missouri dropped one spot from 26th to 27th, and Tennessee comes in 39th. They were ranked 36th in 2012. Kentucky, on the other hand, improved from 35th to 34th.

The study comes up with these rankings using four categories: economic well-being, family and community, education, and health. The findings show Kentucky has made key improvements in health and education for kids, but families in the state continue to struggle with economic security. In fact, one in four Kentucky kids live in poverty.

This data is shared with policymakers, advocates, and every-day Americans to help find ways to improve life for the nation's most vulnerable kids. The rankings system changed in 2012, so these new numbers can not be compared to any years before that.