Louisiana continues to be ranked 49th in overall child well-being. KIDS COUNT manager at Agenda for Children Teresa Falgoust says a big factor into the low ranking is that the state ranks 50th in childhood poverty, with 307,000 children living in poverty, roughly 28% of the state’s child population.
“When kids are living in poverty, they are less likely to have access to good schools, good health care, and their parents are much more likely to have trouble to have their basic needs met,” said Falgoust.
The state has dropped in ranking for education from 47th to 48th. Falgoust says another troubling trend is the number of children getting ready to enter high school not doing well in math. In 2009, 80% of eighth graders were not proficient in math. That has risen to 81% in 2017.
“We’ve also seen the percentage of young children who are not in school, ages 3 and 4, increase as well,” said Falgoust.
Falgoust says the state is also low in the ranking when it comes to child and teen deaths and underweight births.
“We have one of the highest rates of low birth weight babies in the country and that’s actually one of the indicators that’s gotten worse since 1990,” said Falgoust.