Child Well-Being: Indiana Improves In Education, But Poverty Persists

Posted On July 22, 2014

By Mary Kuhlman, Indiana News Service

kids-circle-children(Indianapolis, Ind.) – New data finds Indiana children are making strides in education, but high rates of child poverty continue to persist.

An annual state-by-state snapshot of child well-being, the 2014 Kids Count Data Book ranks Indiana 27th nationally, up three spots from last year. Glenn Augustine, vice president for advancement with the Indiana Youth Institute, says Hoosier kids have made gains in reading and math test scores, but a sizable number of students still performed below proficiency. He says improving educational outcomes is critical to reducing the state’s child poverty rate.

“Academic attainment is a way out of poverty. The children who not only get that high school diploma, but then get some education after high school are going to be the best prepared to meet the challenges of the workforce,” says Augustine.

According to the report, Indiana’s child poverty rate grew by 29 percent from 2005 to 2012, with more than a quarter of those age 18 and younger living in poverty.

Augustine says Indiana showed improvement in all health related-categories, with a smaller percentage of children born at a low birth weight. While a positive development, he notes it is also cause for continued diligence.

“Health agencies across the state are working on that issue, and at the Department of Health here in Indiana Secretary VanNess has made low birth weight a priority,” says Augustine. “It is critical to reduce the number of children born at a low birth weight and dying in the first year.”

The Kids Count Data Book is released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and focuses on issues of economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.



INDICATOR STATE 2014 2013 2012
Indiana 27 30 31
Kentucky 35 34 35
Ohio 24 24 27
Economic well-being
Indiana 19 26 24
Kentucky 37 32 35
Ohio 30 27 22
Indiana 26 34 36
Kentucky 28 28 30
Ohio 18 18 16
Indiana 27 21 34
Kentucky 25 31 28
Ohio 24 24 18
Faith and community
Indiana 31 30 31
Kentucky 38 38 40
Ohio 32 31 30
   Data Source: Kids Count Data Book