As the entrepreneurs, leaders, and workers of tomorrow, children are vital to our country’s growth, prosperity, and well-being.  When children thrive, our nation thrives.  That is why the Annie E. Casey Foundation has produced the KIDS COUNT® Data Book every year for nearly three decades:  it provides an annual snapshot of how America’s children and families are faring in every state and across the nation.

The 2017 KIDS COUNT® Data Book focuses on key trends in child well-being over the last six years (roughly 2010-2015) – a period in which the country continued its economic recovery.  These key trends are a measure of child well-being in the four domains most needed to thrive: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

The 2017 Data Book shows some steady improvements in economic well-being for Missouri’s children.   More preschoolers are enrolled in Missouri schools and more of our 4th graders are proficient in reading.  More Missouri children have health insurance and the number of teens affected by drug abuse decreased.   

Keep in mind that while Missouri trends are based on overall numbers, the trends are likely different for specific subgroups (such as ethnic and racial minority families, military families). So targeted investments must continue in Missouri that support:
  • Family stability (poverty remains entrenched in distressed communities)
  • Child safety (leading cause of death remains accidents; teen suicides increased)
  • Education (adolescents lag behind in math proficiency)
The geography of poverty for children in Missouri means that they are in poor families in very poor neighborhoods – a double burden.  Being surrounded by poverty limits a child’s opportunity and is a catalyst for them to continue a cycle of poverty as they grow.

“Our role is to share reliable data and stories that reflect areas of success, as well as those areas the need enhanced focus,” said Bill Dent, Executive Director of Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT).  “We look forward to influencing the story of children – one of our state’s most important investments.”

Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT) is a not-for-profit organization serving as the Annie E. Casey sponsored KIDS COUNT® organization in Missouri - Missouri KIDS COUNT®. 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 that promotes the Foundation’s annual Data Book.

Download 2017 National Data Book

Download 2017 Missouri Data