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Report: N.C. Ranks 41st In Well-Being Of Children

Posted May 23, 2001

— North Carolina's children simply do not get the care they need. In fact, the state ranks 41st in a new report that rates how well we take care of children.

The ranking for the newKids CountNational Data Book, being put out by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is based on 10 key indicators using 1998 figures, which are the latest numbers available.

North Carolina was 39th among the states in last year's book with 1997 data using the same indicators. The state's overall rankings had been slightly better in previous years.

North Carolina has improved in seven out of the ten indicators charted by the foundation from 1990 to 1998, including a lower teen birth rate, infant mortality rate and high school dropout rate. However, Joann Haggerty, a researcher for the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute says a family's poverty level can often lead to problems down the road.

"It's not just numbers, these are kids. An ounce of prevention is an pound of cure, and if we don't do that as a state, not only will we slide down in the comparison rate, we will be short-changing our children and our future," she says.

North Carolina is also above average in infant mortality, teen pregnancy and the number of children living in single parent homes. Child advocates say, in light of this study, state lawmakers need to put more money into programs that help kids.


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