22 June 2020 |

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-being 9
Education 25
Health 23
Family and community context 24
Overall 19
Source: National KIDS COUNT Report. Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2020.  



Kansas sees improvement in 10 of the 16 KIDS COUNT indicators since 2010
  2010 2018
Economic Well Being    
Children in poverty 18% 15%
Children whose parents lack secure employment 27% 21%
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden 30% 22%
Teens not in school and not working 6% 6%
Young children (ages 3 and 4) not in school 53% 53%
Fourth-graders not proficient in reading 65% 66%
Eighth-graders not proficient in math 61% 67%
High school students not graduating on time 17% 13%
Low birth-weight babies 7.1% 7.4%
Children without health insurance 9% 5%
Child and teen deaths per 100,000 (RATE) 33 29
Teens who are overweight or obese 32% 29%
Family and community    
Children in single-parent families 31% 29%
Children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma 12% 12%
Children living in high-poverty areas 8% 7%
Teen births per 1,000 (RATE) 39 20
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 aecf.org.

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