Topeka — 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.