Recently, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has released the 2014 edition of its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which is available open-access online. This 25th edition highlights the improvements in the lives of American children since the first KIDS COUNT Data Book was published in 1990, though it also notes negative trends. These changes were reported in an article by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Over the years, children have been attending preschool at greater rates, and proficiency in reading in math has increased as well. Parent education has also risen, with a greater percentage of heads of households having a high school diploma. Teen births are at an all-time low, and child mortality has also decreased as a result of medical advances and improved safety practices such as using seat belts and bicycle helmets. However, the rates of children living in poverty, being raised in single-parent homes, and growing up in poor communities have each increased.
The Data Book uses 16 indicators across four areas – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community, to assess the overall well-being of children state-by-state. Overall, children have progressed in education and health, but economic progress is still behind. Massachusetts ranked #1 in overall child well-being, #1 in education, and #2 in health. The state ranked #8 in family and community and #13 in economic well-being.