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Report: Boone County 2nd For Child Well-Being, Gallatin 101st

Posted On November 16, 2015

By Mike Perleberg

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(Boone County, Ky.) – For the most part, Boone County isn’t a bad place to be a kid.

In fact, Boone County ranks second in the state of Kentucky for overall child well-being. That’s according to the 2015 Kids Count County Data Book released by Kentucky Youth Advocates.

The report ranks all 120 Kentucky counties on 16 indicators including economic security, education, health, family, and community.

“Governors and the Kentucky General Assembly made significant strides in policies to help kids over the last quarter century, such as the Kentucky Education Reform Act, juvenile justice reform, and ensuring more children have health insurance,” said Dr. Brooks. “But we still face dire challenges. With more than one in four Kentucky children living in poverty; almost half of fourth graders not proficient in reading; and more than one in five mothers smoking during pregnancy, we have a long way to go to get Kentucky where it needs to be for children.”

The Data Book said child poverty in Boone County was 12 percent from 2009 through 2013 compared to 26 percent statewide. Only four percent of children in the county lived in high-poverty areas compared to 42 percent in the state as a whole.

Teen births per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19 in the state are 40 percent from 2011 to 2013. In Boone County, the rate was 22.9 percent.

Boone did rate comparatively, however, with the statewide numbers in some areas like education. Nine percent of high school students in the county did not graduate on time in 2014-2015. That figure was 12 percent statewide. The Data Book indicated that 41 percent of kindergartners were not ready to learn, 41 percent of fourth graders were not proficient in reading, and 46 percent of eighth graders were not proficient in math.

Smoking during pregnancy was 18.6 percent in Boone County, near the statewide percentage of 22.5.

Gallatin County ranked 101st in the state for child well-being. Unlike Boone County, it was behind the statewide average in nearly all wellness categories.

With 34 percent of child residents in poverty from 2009 through 2013, 77 percent of children in Gallatin County live in high poverty areas.  Teen births occurred at a rate of 50.2 per 1,000 girls ages 15-19. A quarter of children in the county are born to mothers without a high school degree, compared to 16.8 percent statewide.

The full 2015 Kentucky Kids Count County Data Book and county-level numbers can be found here.