An annual report on the well-being of children in the United States shows improvement in Oklahoma.
The state's ranking improved from 40th to 36th among the 50 states in the Kids Count report released Monday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The foundation ranks states based on four areas — economic well-being; education; health; and family and community issues.
Oklahoma ranks 25th in economic factors that include poverty. The study shows 216,000 children in poverty – a number unchanged since 2005.
282,000 children have parents who lack secure employment, and 19,000 teenagers are either not in school, or not working. Both of those figures have worsened in the past half-decade.
The state ranks 40th in educational factors, but showed improvement in all four areas. 59 percent of children, roughly 61,000, did not attend preschool between 2009-2011. That’s down from 62 percent from 2005-2007.
Nearly three out of four fourth graders are not proficient in reading, with the same ratio of eighth graders not proficient in math. 21 percent of high school students, or 10,529, didn’t graduate on time between 2009-10.
The state ranks 43rd in health issues such as low-birth weight babies and children without health insurance; and 39th in family and community indicators that include children in single parent homes and the number of teenagers giving birth.
New Hampshire ranks first overall in the survey and New Mexico is 50th.