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Study: Alabama ranks 44th in child well-being

June 17, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The well-being of Alabama’s children has failed to keep pace with the rest of the country, a new report shows.

Alabama ranks 44th in the nation in the quality of life it provides for its children, according to the report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“Our state struggles to have enough money for the programs that supply assistance and help and support to working families with children,” said Rhonda Mann, deputy director of VOICES for Alabama’s Children, which helped compile the report. “There’s always a need for more.”

The annual ranking measures states on 16 indicators from 2017 data covering topics like health, education and economic well-being.

Alabama stayed the same or improved on all but one indicator, but its ranking still dropped because other states improved at a faster pace.

For example, the state reduced the number of teens not in school and not working from 11% in 2010 to 9% in 2017. Despite the improvement, the state’s national ranking on that indicator dropped from 38 in 2010 to 45 in 2017.

“Other states are doing much more, moving faster,” Mann said. “We’re just not keeping pace.”

Alabama showed the most progress in education. It made improvements in graduation rates and math and reading proficiency.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts received this year’s top rankings. Louisiana and New Mexico are the lowest-ranked states.

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