News are not good for New Mexico State. Kids there continue to be fairly poor according to the latest report on poverty indexes published in the Kids Count Data Book by New Mexico Voices for Children.
On Wednesday, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 18th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book. (available online). According to the data reported there, New Mexico State children ranked almost at the bottom in regard to their well-being.
Twenty-six percent of children still live in poverty in New Mexico State during the period (200-2005) with and overall ranking of poverty of 47th (based on 52 states), that is, New Mexico is the 47th poorer state of the US.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation annual report’s, in summary, ranked NM state 47th overall and has gained the bottom spot among in eight of the 10 categories listed in the report.
This bad news for state officials. Remember that Governor Bill Richardson’s is on presidential campaign.
Here is more detailed on the data showed by the Kids Count Report:
*The number of children who live in a home where no parent has full-time, year-round employment grew by 8 percent from 2000-05, with 41 percent of New Mexico kids now in that category.
*Forty-one (41) percent of New Mexico Kids live in homes (2007) where no parent has a full time, year round employment. This category has grown from 2005 to 2007 by 8%.
*In 2005, 38% of children lived in single-parent homes. This category has increased 15% since 2005.
*For every 1000 kid, 8 lived in a foster care home
*While the national rate of child death rate (before age of 15) fell nationally to 20 per each 100,000 children, New Mexico’s rate increased to 28 per 100,000 children
On particular index may shed some light on the reasons for these bad indexes. Nationally, the percentage of “children without Health Insurance” is 11% in 2007. However, in New Mexico 16% of children have no Health Insurance.
Obviously reverting poverty is no easy task. The Legislature has taken some measures to improve children’s situation in NM. For example, it has expanded child care, it has insured more children and expanded Medicaid coverage, provided better breakfasts, given tax credits to working families, and raised the minimum wage.
Such efforts seem not to have enough power to revert Kids poverty in New Mexico so more initiatives are needed to tackle this problem in NM. Now, state officials and public costintuencies have the KID’s CouNT report as a tool for diagnostic on the effectiveness on their poverty reduction efforts.
I am sure kids in NM deserve a better live.
Kids Count State-Level Data Online 2007. Annie E. Casey Foundation.URL: http://www.kidscount.org/sld/databook.jsp