TN kids rank well in health, poor in education - WSMV Channel 4

TN kids rank well in health, poor in education

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The latest comparison by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds Tennessee's kids are the healthiest in the South.

The annual Kids Count evaluation placed Tennessee 16th in the nation in children's well-being.

The study, however, went beyond health issues and found one in four children in Tennessee is being raised in poverty. The education ranking was a poor 42nd, based on the dropout rate, preschool attendance and performance in math and reading.

In terms of health, the state ranked 16th. More Tennessee children have insurance, fewer children are dying and not as many kids are taking drugs and drinking alcohol.

A change in the way states were evaluated helped boost the state's snapshot of children's health. The foundation dropped infant mortality and added health insurance coverage. Only 5 percent of Tennessee's children aren't insured.

Tennessee ranked 39th in the country for family and community.  The study found more Tennessee children are living in single-parent homes.  There's been an increase in parents with high school diplomas, but more children are living in high-poverty areas.

The top states for children's well-being were New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi ranked lowest.

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