Report: N.C. is 34th in nation for child well-being, Winston-Salem Journal (07.31.2012)
The Associated Press North Carolina ranks 34th in the U.S. in terms of the overall well-being of its children, according to the Kids Count survey released Wednesday.
The report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that one in four North Carolina children live in poverty. The level of North Carolina children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment jumped to 35 percent in 2010.
The number of North Carolina children living in high-poverty neighborhoods more than doubled over the past decade, increasing from 76,000 in 2000 to 212,000, the report showed. Overall, North Carolina ranked 35th in the nation when it comes to its children's economic well-being.
In June, North Carolina tied with South Carolina for the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country, at 9.4 percent. The Kids Count report ranked South Carolina as 43rd in its children's overall well-being.
But analysts said the study reflected that investments in health and education efforts for North Carolina's children are beginning to pay off. The state ranked in the middle of the country in terms of both indicators, and North Carolina ranked among the top 20 states in two education-related indicators:fourth-grade reading proficiency and eighth-grade math proficiency.
Deborah Bryan, president and CEO of Action for Children North Carolina, said the report showed "mixed progress" for North Carolina and warned that the state must work harder to help keep its children ahead.
"The trend within many indicators — particularly those of economic well-being— show North Carolina children are losing important ground,"Bryan said.