The 2015 Kids Count report says Missouri ranks higher this year in child well-being compared to last year, though it still comes in the middle of the field. Laura Speer with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which conducts the report, says the state came in 26th.
“Missouri improved between the 2014 report and the 2015 report,” says Speer. “It’s actually one of the biggest improvements across the country. It actually went up three places from 29th in 2014.”
Speer says it’s hard to say whether the change is more due to improvements in Missouri or declines in other states.
The report also says Missouri had more children living below the poverty line in 2013 than in the recession year of 2008. Speer says the rate increased from 19% to 22%.
“That really means that during the period of economic recovery, many millions of childrens and families got left behind and there’s still a long way to go,” says Speer.
About 100,000 Missouri children lacked health insurance in 2013 according to this year’s report. Speer says Missouri isn’t following the trend.
“Most states and at the national level, there’s been pretty substantial improvements in providing health insurance to kids over the last five years. So, that’s something I think is worth paying attention to,” says Speer.
Speer says there are fewer people who have access to employer-sponsored health insurance today than ten years ago.