Oklahoma ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation for child well-being, according to the 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. With an overall ranking of 42nd out of all 50 states, Oklahoma ranked especially low for education (45th) and health (43rd).
The 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book — the most comprehensive annual report on child well-being in the United States — notes measurable progress for the nation’s kids since the first Data Book, which was published in 1990. Nevertheless, more than 13 million U.S. children live in poverty, including about 1 in 5 children in Oklahoma, and serious racial and ethnic disparities persist.
Oklahoma has made major progress from 2010 to 2017 in areas such as reducing teen pregnancies (down 40 percent) and reducing the child uninsured rate (down 27 percent), trends that match most states. However, on those measures and many others, Oklahoma’s progress trails the nation.
“Even in years when the economy is strong, far too many Oklahoma kids don’t have the resources they need to thrive,” said Gene Perry, Director of Strategy and Communication and KIDS COUNT Coordinator for Oklahoma Policy Institute. “The data show a serious need for our state to further reduce the number of uninsured and continue rebuilding investment in our schools after years of cuts.”
The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four domains — health, education, economic well-being and family and community — as an assessment of child well-being.