Iowa moves up one spot in Kids Count survey

(Radio Iowa) – Iowa moved up in the latest “Kids Count” national survey that ranks states based on 16 indicators that are supposed to give an indication of the well being of children and families. Michael Crawford is the director of “Iowa Kids Count.”

“The last two years we were eighth and this year we’re seventh, so there’s an improvement in rankings there. Not much of a change, usually the top ten states in the Kids County survey are pretty close to each other so the rankings one to 10 really don’t change much,” Crawford says.

“We have seen some improvements in some areas, particularly the percentage of kids without health insurance has dropped 33-percent, and the low birth rate percentage has dropped, so those are some really good signs that things are happening.” There are some things that aren’t as positive.

“That includes the number of children living in poverty, the percentage has increased 21-percent since 2005 and the percentage of children in single parent families has increased 15-percent since 2005. So those are some of the areas I think we need to improve,” Crawford says. He says the change in state ranking is not the most important aspect of the survey.

“What we try to do is not put to much weight in the comparison of Iowa to others states, because we usually do very well. But maybe comparing Iowa now to where Iowa was 10 years ago or eight years ago, whatever the case may be and looking to the areas where we are not doing so well and what can we do to improve,” Crawford says.

You can see the complete Kids Count report at:  www.datacenter.kidscount.org.