GA ranks 42nd nationwide in report on children’s welfare - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GA ranks 42nd nationwide in report on children’s welfare

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(WTVM) -

This year's KIDS COUNT report has been released and the state of Georgia ranks 42nd, a slight dip from last year.

KIDS COUNT is a national report on the welfare of the nation's children. The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the KIDS COUNT data book

Georgia's low birth-weight rates worsened; about 9.7 percent of Georgia babies were low birth-weight in 2010, higher than 2005, when the figure was 9.5 percent. About 8.1 percent of babies across the nation were low birth weight in 2010.

The number of children living in poverty wasn't much better. About 26 percent of Georgia's children were living in poverty as of 2011, up from 20 percent in 2005.  

However, Georgia improved in the percentage of high school dropouts, the teen birth rate and the child death rate. Meanwhile Alabama ranked 44th. It still ranks low among the states for the well-being of children, but it has moved up slightly.

Children in poverty increased from 19 percent in 2005 to 22 percent in 2011.

Alabama high school students not graduating on time decreased from 27 percent in 2006 to 24 percent in 2009.

States that made the highest scores on the list were New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. New Mexico now claims last place on the list.

One non-profit organization says Alabama is showing momentum after ranking 46th, 47th and 48th for many years. They are pleased with the teen birth rate decline, although have concern over what the poverty numbers revealed about children.

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