Thursday, June 23, 2016

How does Mass compare to other states for child well-being?

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Children in Massachusetts lead the nation in educational achievement and also rank highly in health measures, but more than one in seven live in poverty, according to the 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. MassBudget is home to KIDS COUNT in Massachusetts, a national and state-by-state effort funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track and improve the well-being of children across the United States. The annual report measures child well-being state-by-state across four categories: health, education, economic well-being and family and community.

For instance, the Data Book tracks reading proficiency in fourth grade and math in eighth grade. Massachusetts students lead the nation in both measures, with 50 percent of our students proficient in reading and 51 percent in math. But while the data show that Massachusetts leads the nation, the report also shows that half of our students are not achieving these goals. There are similar mixed messages for other education measures: 12 percent of our students do not graduate high school on time - that's too many, but down from 18 percent in 2008.

While Massachusetts ranks at the top in educational attainment and near the top in child health, on measures of family economic well-being it ranks 11th. Raising the incomes of low and middle income families remains an important challenge for our Commonwealth. The well-being of families has a direct effect on their children. Policies that improve wages and working conditions - such as minimum wage increases and paid family leave laws that make it easier for parents to take time to bond with a new child - can help children get a better start in life.

Read the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book (HERE). There's a two-page summary of the Massachusetts profile (HERE). You can see all of MassBudget's KIDS COUNT Resources (HERE). 

You can read MassBudget's recent fact sheets on Paid Family and Medical Leave, including how the program differs from similar programs (HERE), how such programs impact businesses and families in other states (HERE), how Massachusetts residents currently cope without paid leave (HERE), and answers to frequently asked questions (HERE).

 For more information on evidence-based strategies to support children from pre-Kindergarten through high school, see Roadmap to Expanding Opportunity

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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