Alabama again ranked near the bottom in the annual Kids Count survey by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which measures quality of life issues like health care, education, and poverty. Last year, Alabama ranked 47th; this year, it ranked 48th.
The data released last week shows that the number of children living in poverty in Alabama has increased 19% since 2000, to one in every four children. Statewide, 131,000 children (12%) were living with at least one unemployed parent in 2010, and 45,000 children have been affected by foreclosure since 2007.
Alabama followed national trends, which saw improvements in three of the 10 key Kids Count indicators this year: the teen birth rate was down; the percent of teens not in school and not high school graduates was down; and the death rate for children age 1-14 was down.
But Alabama’s improvements in these three areas were accompanied by worsening trends in five other measures since 2000: the infant mortality rate, the low-weight birth rate, the teen death rate, the percentage of children living in single-parent families, and the percentage of children in poverty.
Alabama has ranked in the bottom eight states in the Kids Count survey in each of the past 10 years — coming in at 48 out of the 50 states six times.