Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Douglas County ranks 18th in state for child well-being

November 20, 2012


— A new state report released Monday on the well-being of children in Kansas shows that child-poverty rates are increasing, but other negative indicators, such as high school dropout and mortality rates, are declining.

Among Kansas’ 105 counties, Douglas County was the 18th best across all indicators. The Douglas County child poverty rate of 13.8 percent was tied for 16th.

Johnson County had the lowest child poverty rate at 7.7 percent, while Wyandotte County had the highest at 34.7 percent.

The “State of the Family” report was put together by researchers with Kansas State University, which analyzed 18 indicators on child well-being. Those indicators were picked by the Kansas Department of Children and Families.

The report showed that in 2010, 18.1 percent of Kansas children were living in poverty, which is an increase of 53.4 percent since 1970.

In 2010, 37.7 percent of births in Kansas were to unmarried women, compared with 12.2 percent in 1980.

Other indicators associated with poverty, such as Medicaid and food assistance, were also on the rise.

But teen pregnancy, infant mortality, the high school dropout rate, youth binge drinking and youth tobacco use have been declining.

The 18 indicators used for the report were child poverty, child care assistance enrollment, divorce, enrollment in free and reduced lunch programs, high school dropouts, infant mortality, lack of maternal education, low birthweight babies, Medicaid enrollment, parental unemployment, out-of-wedlock births, single-parent households, food assistance enrollment, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families enrollment, teen pregnancy, uninsured children, youth binge drinking and youth tobacco use.


none2 1 year, 5 months ago

I was going to write to indicate that there was a mistake. The story originally said 16th, but it has been corrected to say 18th ranking....

This article should have included the data. Since it doesn't, here it is from


Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 5 months ago

Its because we do not have a living wage and it's Bush's fault, or Brownbacks fault. Could be greedy corporations, capital "vulturists" or global warming is to blame. Maybe the GOP is to blame as well, it's anything but the parents fault. Blaming the parents would be ridiculous.


chicago95 1 year, 5 months ago

These results are constructive if they help motivate us to build a better environment in which to raise our children. But data are just data, and these are not the only possible indicators by which to measure well-being. The percentage of births to unmarried women, for example, reflects particular cultural values that may not carry the same weight in all parts of Kansas. Unemployment rates are difficult to measure. Rankings are not helpful. This is not a competition. And what of those areas in which our performance is "best" of a bad lot.

I'd like to see greater public access to databases of all available public health measures. From these, we might try to build a more detailed understanding of what is going on and a basis for shared insights, if not shared values. We might discover gaps, ambiguities or contradicitions among the indicators, leading to a demand for increased data gathering. And, the civic discourse might lead to greater concensus on how to formulate a public health response.


Briseis 1 year, 5 months ago

How can a highly educated blue county, in the midst of a red state, do so poorly with their children? This is sad news.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 5 months ago

And just how did folks be so tough during the depression? All these programs now and no progress. Time for a financial collapse to toughen up everyone.


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