National KIDS COUNT
A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation since 1990, KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. KIDS COUNT exists to measure child outcomes and contribute to public accountability for those outcomes, resulting in a model for data-driven advocacy for children, their families, and their communities.
National KIDS COUNT Data Book
National 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book Shows Kentucky Ranks 37th in Child Well-Being with Too Many Children Suffering from Mental Health Pandemic
August 8, 2022 – Kentucky ranks 37th in the nation in overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2022 national KIDS COUNT Data Book co-released by Kentucky Youth Advocates. The national Data Book provides state level data and rankings, including a mix of pre-pandemic and more recent figures that are the latest available. And, for the first time, this annual resource focuses on the youth mental health crisis.
In addition to ranking 37th in overall child well-being, Kentucky ranks 38th in economic well-being, 26th in education, 38th in health, and 42nd in the family and community domains.
View the Kentucky State Data Profile Sheet (Spanish), and read our press release.
National Special Reports
Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond
December 14, 2020 – Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond examines data from weekly surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that demonstrate how families across the country are challenged to meet basic needs during this global public health crisis while managing school, work, and mental health. The report includes pandemic-era data on food security, the ability to make rent or mortgage payments, health insurance status, and mental health concerns, as well as recommendations for federal, state, and local decision makers to prioritize children and families in response and recovery efforts. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Neighborhoods
September 24, 2019 – A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot outlines how living in areas with concentrated poverty undermines child well-being. The data snapshot shows that despite being in the midst of a long period of economic expansion, many states have seen no improvement in the percentage of children living in concentrated poverty. Read the data snapshot Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement
April 2, 2019 – A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot highlights the growing consensus that children, teens, and young adults in the child welfare system should live in families. The data snapshot illustrates that group homes and institutions should be utilized only when necessary and for a limited time, and should help the child return to a family as soon as possible. Read the data snapshot Keeping Kids in Families and our state press release, including key findings and recommendations for Kentucky.
Opening Doors for Young Parents
September 25, 2018 – Opening Doors for Young Parents highlights the unique challenges and opportunities facing young adult parents and their children, including recommendations to equip families for success. The report illustrates that to succeed, young adult parents need what all young people need — access to education and job training, strong mentors, and skills to be ready for today’s workforce — and what all parents need – access to affordable, high-quality child care and parenting skills programs to create thriving, financially stable families. The combination of being a young adult and being a parent creates that unique opportunity to set families up for success. Read the report and our state press release.
2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children
October 24, 2017 – All Kentucky kids deserve a path to a successful and productive adulthood. The reality is, however, that the zip code in which children live, the amount of money their family earns, and the color of their skin are pervasive and powerful influences on the childhood they will have and the future they can embrace. Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 Race for Results report features index scores calculated from 12 key indicators that serve as steppingstones to success. Read the report and our blog.
A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities
April 25, 2016 – A Shared Sentence highlights the obstacles children who have had an incarcerated parent face throughout their lives. It focuses on solutions to mitigate the trauma children experience and ensure they have the best opportunity to succeed. The report offers several policy recommendations to help prioritize the needs of children with incarcerated parents. Read the report and our state press release.
Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success
May 19, 2015 – Every Kid Needs a Family emphasizes that kids do best when they grow up in a family, preferably their own. The report highlights the importance of keeping families together and placing children who cannot safely stay with their parents in family placements, such as kinship and foster families. It shows how communities can widen the array of services available to help strengthen families and support them in times of crisis. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Measuring Poverty
February 25, 2015 – A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot points to a different index for measuring poverty – the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the positive impact that safety net programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and tax policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit have on families. The Data Snapshot explains the SPM and how we can use stronger data to inform policies and understand solutions to poverty. Read the data snapshot Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States and our state press release.
Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach
November 12, 2014 – Creating Opportunity for Family: A Two-Generation Approach makes the case for creating opportunity for families by addressing the needs of parents and their children simultaneously. The report describes the Foundation’s two-generation approach, which calls for connecting families with early childhood education, job training, and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty, and recommends ways to help equip families with what they need to thrive. Read the report and our state press release.
Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children
March 29, 2014 – Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children explores the intersection of kids, race, and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential. Read the report.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Early Reading Proficiency in the United States
January 28, 2014 – A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that about two-thirds (64 percent) of Kentucky children are not meeting an important benchmark: reading at grade level at the start of fourth grade. In addition, Kentucky is one of only 12 states where the reading proficiency gap between students from higher- and lower-income families widened by more than 30 percent from 2003 to 2013. The data used in the snapshot is from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has a higher standard for proficiency than Kentucky’s state reading assessment test. Read Early Reading Proficiency in the United States and our state press release.
The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success
November 4, 2013 – The first eight years of a child’s life are critical for developing needed emotional and cognitive skills for children to thrive. This needs to start at home but many families face challenges including poverty that strain parents’ ability to ensure their children are receiving all the support they need to succeed. The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success presents a strong case for investing in quality early learning opportunities and supporting parents to ensure their young children are on the right track for success. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States
February 27, 2013 – The national rate of locking up young people in trouble with the law dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety. Kentucky’s declining rate mirrors the national trend and in 2010 Kentucky had the 18th lowest rate in the nation for youth incarceration. A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discusses trends and provides recommendations to further reduce the use of incarceration among youth. Read Reducing Youth Incarcerations in the United States and our state press release.
Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity
December 3, 2012 – Nearly 6.5 million teens and young adults in the U.S., including 110,000 in Kentucky, are not enrolled in school and not employed, even part-time. Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity discusses the numerous obstacles these young people face. The report shows that the lack of education, opportunity and connection to school or work has long-term implications for disconnected youth. Read the report and our state press release.
Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families
May 23, 2012 – When biological parents can no longer raise their children or when children’s safety or well-being is at risk, grandparents, other relatives, and close family friends have traditionally stepped up as caregivers in Kentucky. Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families shows Kentucky has the second highest rate in the nation of children living with such “kin” caregivers. Between 2008-2010, an average of 6 percent of Kentucky children lived with kin, representing 63,000 children, up from 31,000 during 1999-2001. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Children Living in High-Poverty Communities
February 23, 2012 – The future prosperity of the Commonwealth depends on our ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation. Wise investments in children and families today will be paid back by upcoming generations through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship. A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Kentucky’s kids are in need of such investments. Read Children Living in America’s High Poverty Communities and our state press release.
Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters
May 18, 2010 – Sixty-four percent of Kentucky children in public schools are not proficient in reading. Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters finds that children who read on grade level by the end of third grade are more successful in school, work, and in life. For example, high school graduation can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing a person’s reading skill at the end of the third grade. Read the report and our state press release.