South Carolina moved to its highest spot in the 27-year history of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book rankings at No. 41. This was the second consecutive year of improvements for the state. The only other year the state improved in consecutive years came between 1999 to 2001.
Data shows that key indicators for our youth are improving. The child and teen death rate, teen birth rate, and percent of teens abusing drugs and alcohol have all decreased significantly since 2008. Children’s Trust believes success is due in part to prevention and intervention programs around distracted driving, maternal health and teen pregnancy.
However, other indicators reveal significant deficits and send a strong signal that dedicated strategies are needed to give South Carolina children and families improved opportunities.
South Carolina’s children struggle in education and economic well-being.
Young children not in school
2007-09 – 50%
Fourth graders not proficient in reading
2007 – 74%
Eighth graders not proficient in math
2007 – 68%
2008 – 22%
For children of color, the numbers are even more disparate. Only 13 percent of African-American children are reading proficiently by fourth grade and have math proficiency by eighth grade.
The KIDS COUNT Data Book publishes annually and highlights efforts since 1990 to raise awareness locally and nationally about how kids are doing and what policies and programs might lead to improvements in child well-being in our nation.
National Trends Since 2008
- The rates of children without health insurance have improved by 40 percent since 2008 with some states recording decreases of more than 60 percent. State health around the country covered close to an additional 3 million children.
- African-American children continue to face significant barriers to their success and were twice as likely as the average child to live in high-poverty neighborhoods and to live in single-parent families.
- On a positive note, African-American children were more likely than the national average to have health insurance coverage, attend preschool and Pre-K and live in families where the household head had at least a high school diploma.
KIDS COUNT Data Center
The KIDS COUNT initiative also maintains the KIDS COUNT Data Center. The Data Center contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being. The mobile-friendly Data Center gives users tools to create rankings, maps and graphs for use in publications and on websites, all of which can be easily shared on social media.