Jun 22, 2021 - News

Florida lags other states in children's overall well-being

Illustration of wooden child’s play block with an exclamation point

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An annual report that analyzes the overall well-being of children ranked Florida #35 among the states.

Why it matters: Kids have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic, with shifts to school and socialization, so sitting solidly in the bottom half is cause for concern.

  • Plus, the data used for this set is from 2019, so it does not yet take into account COVID's toll.

State of play: The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks the status of children in four main categories: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

The big picture: Our overall rank is the same as last year, and our rank for economic well-being also stayed the same at #42.

  • But we improved in other categories, jumping from #34 to #32 for family and community, from #16 to #12 for education, and from #38 to #31 for health.

Things to be proud of: Our rate of high schoolers not graduating on time plummeted from 29% in 2010-2011 to 13% in 2018-2019.

  • Children without health insurance went from 13% in 2010 to 8% in 2019.

Room for growth: 48% of children aged 3-4 were not in school from 2017-2019, down only slightly from 50% in 2009-2011.

  • 69% of eighth-graders weren't proficient in math in 2019, compared to 71% in 2009.
  • 62% of fourth-graders weren't proficient in reading, up slightly from 64% in 2009.

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