Minnesota No. 1 in Kids Count child well-being poll

Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count ranking on child well-being. Minnesota held the No. 5 ranking in last year’s poll.

Top 5 states

1. Minnesota

2. New Hampshire

3. Massachusetts

4. Iowa

5. Vermont

Bottom 5 states

50. Mississippi

49. New Mexico

48. Louisiana

47. Nevada

46. Arizona

Minnesota rankings snapshot

Overall: No. 1
Economic well-being: No. 5
Education: No. 6
Health: No. 2
Family and community: No. 4

A drop in child deaths and substance abuse rates helped Minnesota gain its top overall ranking. Take a deeper look at Minnesota's profile at http://www.aecf.org.

Minnesota data book highlights

14 percent of children are living in poverty, up from 11 percent in 2008.

24 percent of children have parents who lack secure employment.

29 percent of children live in a single-parent family.

“We’re moving in the right direction but we need to continue that progress with a focus on American Indian and children of color because we know that’s where the child population is growing and that’s where we see persistent disparities," said  Stephanie Hogenson of the Children's Defense Fund in Minnesota.

The number of children proficient in reading by 4th grade has improved., and so have 8th grade math proficiency and the high school graduation rate. But children not attending preschool has remained unchanged, at 55 percent. Tuesday morning, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had a stern warning for next year’s legislative session.

“I will not sign a tax bill that does not have an equitable amount in it overall for early childhood and continuing the progress that we’ve made here,” Gov. Dayton said.