Maryland’s child wellbeing drops to 24th in the nation

Maryland’s child wellbeing ranks 24th, a drop from the previous year according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report used sixteen indicators to analyze four sectors economic well-being, education, health, and family & community.

 

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The most recent data places Maryland 23rd for economic well-being, with 157,000 children living in households with income that falls below the poverty line and 32% of children living in households that have a high housing cost burden. 

Maryland ranked 20th for education, with 65% of fourth-graders not proficient in reading, 67% of eighth-graders not proficient in math, and 13% of high school students not graduating on time. 

Nonso Umunna, research director at Advocates for Children and Youth, had this to say of the data: 

“These statistics are not just numbers as they represent the lives of our children…Crafting recommendations to invest in children, families, and communities is a priority to ensure an equitable and expansive recovery.” 

For health, the state ranks 27th, with 3% of children without health insurance and 34% of the children ages 10-17 overweight or obese.

Additional data in this sector sheds light on the pandemic’s impact on statewide insurance rates. In 2020 adults with children under 18 lacking health insurance peaked at 9%, but by 2021 had dropped to 7%. 

For the last sector, family & community, Maryland ranked 23rd. Here, the report found 53,000 children in the state live in high-poverty areas and 2,603 teen births took place.