The 2004 Kids Count report, showing national and state trends in child well-being, has been released. Missouri’s Kids Count numbers tend to reflect those at the national level. But there are some areas in which Missouri outshines the improvements made nationally … and others in which Missouri lags behind. Cande Iveson, the Kids Count Project Director with Citizens for Missouri’s Children, says there are a couple of very positive areas that stand out. Big areas of improvement include the high school dropout rate which is falling … and the number of children without health insurance. Nationally, 12 percent of children have no insurance, while Missouri’s figure stands at 6 percent. On the negative side, too many Missouri children are living in poverty, receiving free or reduced lunches. About a third of Missouri kids fall into that category. National and state numbers differ greatly in the area of children without health insurance. Nationwide, 12 percent of kids are uninsured. Only 6-percent of Missouri children have no insurance. Iveson says Missouri must invest in its children – despite economic hardships.

Related web sites:
Kids Count 2004 Data Book