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Today, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is proud to partner with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to release the 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which measures the well-being of our nation’s children and profiles Oklahoma’s ranking on a series of key indicators.

 

The purpose of KIDS COUNT is to provide critical data and benchmarks for use by state, local and national leaders and child advocates to improve specific policy areas that lead to better futures for every child. KIDS COUNT data offers a fact-based, nonpartisan lens that raises the visibility of important issues which impact not only children and families, but the future of our state’s economy.

 

Failure to invest in the health, education and economic well-being of Oklahoma’s children is a drag on our state’s economic growth. The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks each state for overall child well-being. Oklahoma’s ranking rose from 40th in 2012 to 36th in the new data. Oklahoma was one of two states showing the biggest improvement from last year.

 

The overall ranking is based on 16 indicators in four key areas: Economic well-being, Family and Community, Education and Health. When compared to 2005, the current data shows that Oklahoma has improved in three of the four areas. Oklahoma’s education ranking dropped over last year. Below is a chart of how Oklahoma ranks in the 2013 Data Book, compared to how the state ranked according to last year’s KIDS COUNT data.

 

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How Oklahoma’s kids are faring compared to 2012 KIDS COUNT Data.

 

It’s important to note that while Oklahoma’s state rankings may have improved for 3 out of the 4 indicators, when individual indicators are examined, you will find issues pertaining directly to poverty have worsened. Certain areas in education have seen improvements.

 

While Oklahoma has been praised for having an outstanding early childhood education system, our state still has more work to do to ensure that all children have access to quality early childhood education and start school ready to learn.

 

Once in school, we must ensure that children are successful and meet grade level requirements to keep the competitive edge they gain from quality early childhood education.One issue that may play a critical role in impacting a child’s success in our educational system and often becomes a barrier to learning is poverty.

 

When the snapshot of Oklahoma’s children is compared to 2005, three years before the recession began, the percentage of children living in high poverty areas has worsened and the percentage of children living in single-parent families has increased.

 

If we were to eradicate poverty, many other areas such as education and children’s well-being would greatly improve.
For more resources about the 16 key indicators used to compile these rankings, or to find other KIDS COUNT data pertaining to Oklahoma’s children, check out the available resources by clicking the links below.

 

 

We all play a vital role in helping to ensure Oklahoma’s children have a bright future. Let us all do are part so that we can make Oklahoma a great place to work and live for future generations. Be a voice and let every child know Oklahoma’s KIDS COUNT.

 

If you have any questions about KIDS COUNT data or for media inquiries please contact:

 

Doug Gibson OICA Interim Executive Director, at 405-204-5743 (dgibson@oica.org)

 

Tiffany Tagbo, AmeriCorps KIDS COUNT/Fit Kids Communications Assistant 405-236-5437 x 119 (tbrown@oica.org)

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