Hawaii’s rank on Kids Count child well-being report

The 2019 KIDS Count Data Book, published by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, is the 30th edition release. The report, released Monday, digs into data regarding child well-being. The data measures 16 indicators under four different tracks to determine the status of a child’s well-being. The four tracks are: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The report is released annually.

The report shows that Hawaii is ranked 24th out of the 50 states for overall child well-being, the same ranking as the year prior. Out of the 50 states, Hawaii ranked 34th in economic well-being, 40th in education, 10th in health, and 15th in family and community. Last year, Hawaii was ranked 30th in economic well-being, 37th in education, 13th in health, and 12th in family and community. Hawaii has demonstrated notable growth in the health category.


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“Three decades ago, Asian and Pacific Islander kids accounted for at least 5 percent of the child population in only three states: California, Hawaii (where they have long been the majority) and Washington. Since then, 12 more states have joined the list,” the report explains.


In 2017 there were 111,000 children living in households with a high cost of living, making Hawaii one of the lowest ranked states in this category. Data in the report shows that across the state there were 34,000 children in poverty, 81,000 children whose parents lack secure employment, and 6,000 teenagers who are neither in school or working.  


“Hawaiʻi now ranks in the bottom third when it comes to the economic well-being of our children,” said Ivette Rodriguez Stern, Hawaiʻi KIDS COUNT project director at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Center on the Family in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.


Since 2018, Hawaii has not improved in the education category, falling 7 spots to number 44. The study shows that 20,000 children between the ages of three and four are not in school.



As one of the highest ranked states in overall health, 8.5 percent of babies with a low birth-weight,2 percent of children without health insurance, 70 child and teen deaths per 100,000, and 4 percent of teenagers who abuse alcohol or drugs were reported. These statistics demonstrate an improvement from last year’s report, where 81 child and teen deaths per 100,000.



Family and community indicators show that in 2017, 32 percent of children were living in single-parent families, 7 percent of children were in families where the head of the household lacks a high school diploma, 4 percent of children were living in high-poverty areas, and the birth rate per 1,000  was 19. Today, the report shows that these numbers have stayed the same except the area that has gotten slightly worse with 31 percent of children were living in a single-parent families in 2016.

You can view the entire report here.