An annual study on American children’s well-being, released on Tuesday, reported that 95 percent of American children now have health insurance —a 10 percent increase over the course of the last decade.
But experts at the non-partisan Annie E. Casey Foundation, which tracks trends involving economics, education, health, and family as they relate to children, aren’t celebrating yet.
“We are witnessing a huge failure of public and political will,” the researchers wrote in the annual report, “Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being.”
“Strengthening our economy for the long run cannot happen without adequate investment in the education, health and social well-being of our children,” they added.
The researchers didn’t explicitly address recent political developments, and they didn’t chime in on whether they agree with President Donald Trump that the American Health Care Act, which House Republicans passed in May, is “mean.”
But they did emphasize that children without health insurance “are less likely than insured children to have a regular health care provider and to receive care when they need it.”
They also noted that gains across several metrics have not been distributed evenly across children of all races: Native American and Hispanic children are still significantly more likely to lack health insurance, while African-American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts.
The report noted that American children’s lives have improved by several other metrics in recent years.
The teen birth rate is at an all-time low of 22 births per 1,000 teenage girls. That’s after years of steady decline: In 1990, the teen birth rate was 63 percent higher.
And on-time high school graduation rates are slowly climbing upward, too, although proficiency is declining across several measures: More than 50% of eighth-graders in all but one state were “not proficient in math” in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. (In Massachusetts, 49% of eighth graders are considered proficient in math.) That’s according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a Congressionally mandated review.
According to the study, here are the five states that rank the highest for overall child well-being:
- New Hampshire
And here are the states at the bottom of the list:
49. New Mexico
Check out the full report here.