Florida’s children continue to lag behind children in other parts of the country in key measures of health, economic and social well-being. According to the recently released 2016 Florida Kids Count County Databook, the state ranks 40 out of 50 states and faces its biggest challenges in addressing poverty and improving child health.
The need to focus on prevention, including continued investment in programs that promote prenatal care, nutrition and parent education, as well as home visiting, is underscored in the report.
The report notes that the proportion of children living in poverty continues to rise in the state despite the economic recovery. One out of four children in Florida live in poverty. The state also has a greater proportion of children who are uninsured compared to other states.
While posting improvements compared to prior years, Florida remains near the bottom (47 out of 50 states) in key measures of child health. The report cites progress in addressing low birthweight, health insurance coverage, child and teen deaths and teen substance abuse, but notes increased efforts are needed to reach levels achieved by other states.
In addition to statewide indicators, the report presents county specific profiles on child health and well-being.
The databook is produced by Florida KIDS COUNT (FKC) at the Department of Child & Family Studies at the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida. FKC is part of a nationwide KIDS COUNT Network, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The KIDS COUNT Network is a national and state-by-state effort to track that status of children in the U.S. by providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children.