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US State Of Minnesota Has Been Ranked No.1 In The Well-Being Of Children

Minnesota State has been ranked top among all US States for the well-being of children living in it. The state was ranked fifth in 2014. Following a drastic drop in the number of children dying from cancer, homicides, auto accidents and other related causes, the state has been able to top the list in 2015 in the Annual Kids Count that aims at ranking states for children’s well-being. While Minnesota has been enjoying a good position in other matters such as economic stability for most of its families and education; it lagged behind in other areas such as children’s well being because of its child mortality rate, teens indulging in alcohol and drug abuse and other health indicators among other things.

However, in 2013, the State’s child mortality rate and the number of youths indulging in drug and alcohol abuse dropped. According to a report that was carried out by Annie E. Casey Foundation and released on Tuesday morning, the State of Minnesota recorded only 258 deaths among its residents aged between 1 and 19 years. That is the lowest number of deaths to be recorded in two decades. The reports also indicated that just a meager 5 percent of youths aged between 13 and 17 years indulged in drugs. That was a decline from the 9 percent recorded five years earlier.

Stephanie Hogenson, a research and policy director for Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota, which helped compile the report, said, “Most child and teen deaths are accidents, whether car accidents or just accidents while a child is playing or out and about. So, safety measures around wearing seat belts and driver’s education and around being safe in the community can improve that outcome. Minnesota does a fairly good job with those efforts.” Leaders from the Children’s Defense Fund which is a national advocacy organization and Gov. Mark Dayton chose to publicly laud authorities in Minnesota. They also selected the Division of Indiana Work located in Minneapolis as their preferred location.

However, it is reported that in some way, Minnesota’s top ranking showed setbacks in others states in the US. This is reflected by a rise in Minnesota’s child poverty rate from as low as 11 percent in 2008 to 14 percent five years later in 2013 despite the state’s emergence from an economic recession that would have enabled it to do things otherwise. Things were not different nationally. Child poverty rate increased nationwide from 18 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2013.

While there is a sigh of relief, according to Ms. Hogenson, it is still early for any celebrations in Minnesota since the state has one of the lowest rates of teens that lack reading proficiency.

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