The teenagers of Generation Z – the rising cohort born after 1995 that follows the Millennials – experienced improved education and health indicators despite growing up in the midst of the economic downturn, according to the 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The 2016 Data Book, which focuses on key trends in child well-being in the post-recession years, measures child well-being in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
The 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book shows improvement since 2008 for Missouri in many key areas as it relates to child wellbeing, including:
- Teen birth rate decreased by nearly 40%
- High school students not graduating on time declined from 20% to 13%
- Child and teen death rate declined from 36 per 100,000 to 28 per 100,000
“We’ve seen improvements in several areas of interest over the past eight years,” said Bill Dent, Executive Director of Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT). “However, many Missouri children are being raised in poverty, or without health care, and this is something that needs to be addressed.”
While advancements have been made, there are still opportunities for improvement in Missouri in the following areas as highlighted by the 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book:
- One in five children live in poverty
- One in ten children live in neighborhoods where 30% or more of all households are low income
- As recently as 2014, approximately 100,000 children lack health insurance
“We need to celebrate the choices and changes that teens are making in their families, schools, and communities around the state that position them to fully transition to a successful adult ,” said Dent. “We will continue to leverage the Missouri KIDS COUNT® resources, including the 20 Community Partnerships (including ARCHS) around the state and the FACT Board.”
Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT) is a nonprofit organization serving as the Annie E. Casey sponsored KIDS COUNT® organization in Missouri. ARCHS serves as FACT’s KIDS COUNT® representative in the St. Louis region. The Annie E. Casey Foundation invests in a network of KIDS COUNT® organizations across the country which promotes the Foundation’s annual Data Book.