How Kansas kids were doing before the coronavirus

Emily Fetsch
June 22, 2020

The 2020 national release of the KIDS COUNT® Data Book, from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows Kansas ranks 19th among all states in child well-being.

The report includes 16 key indicators, which fall into four categories. However, the data used for the report is from 2018, so the information does not reflect current conditions amidst the COVID-19 crisis. We know Kansas children and families have been on the frontline of the economic decline. Unfortunately, we also know Kansas children and families faced barriers before COVID-19 that have only been exacerbated.

Kansas KIDS COUNT Rankings By Topic
2020 Report Ranking
Economic well-being9
Family and community context24
Source: National KIDS COUNT Report. Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2020.
Kansas sees improvement in 10 of the 16 KIDS COUNT indicators since 2010
Economic Well Being  
Children in poverty18%15%
Children whose parents lack secure employment27%21%
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden30%22%
Teens not in school and not working6%6%
Young children (ages 3 and 4) not in school53%53%
Fourth-graders not proficient in reading65%66%
Eighth-graders not proficient in math61%67%
High school students not graduating on time17%13%
Low birth-weight babies7.1%7.4%
Children without health insurance9%5%
Child and teen deaths per 100,000 (RATE)3329
Teens who are overweight or obese32%29%
Family and community  
Children in single-parent families31%29%
Children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma12%12%
Children living in high-poverty areas8%7%
Teen births per 1,000 (RATE)3920
Source: National KIDS COUNT Report. Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2020.

The 2020 Data Book shows improvement nationally on 11 indicators in the KIDS COUNT Index; three indicators sta he same and two worsened. Among the states, Massachusetts ranked first, New Hampshire second and Minnesota third for child well-being. Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico were 48th, 49th and 50th respectively.

Because of a change in the data included, Kansas’ overall ranking this year should not be directly compared to its ranking last year. In the 2019 KIDS COUNT report, Kansas came in 15th among the states.

The 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book can be accessed at