Hawaii 'Kids Count' statistics mixed

Hawaii ranks number 18 nationally in a new state-by-state study on the well-being of America’s children. The 2009 Kids Count Data Book reveals that since 2000, Hawaii improved on six of the 10 measures affecting child well-being. Yet on four other measures, conditions worsened for Hawaii’s kids.

The 20th annual Data Book also contains the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s essay that takes stock of the country’s progress in keeping track of children’s well-being.

This year’s Data Book is complemented by the expanded Kids Count Data Center that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being covering national, state, county, and city information. To access information for Hawaii go to datacenter.kidscount.org/hi.

Hawaii ranks in the top 10 on four of 10 indicators.

Hawaii ranked among the ten best states in the nation on four of 10 indicators of child well-being. Hawaii ranked 2nd on the percent of children in poverty, 3rd on the percent of teens who are high school dropouts, and 10th on both infant mortality rate and the percent of children in single-parent families.

Teen birth rate increases for the first time since 2000.

Between 2000 and 2005, the teen birth rate in Hawaii decreased from 46 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 to 36 births per 1,000. However, Hawaii’s teen birth rate climbed back to 41 per 1,000 in 2006, a 14 percent increase from 2005. In 2006, there were 1,619 births to teens ages 15 to 19 in Hawaii.

Percent of teens ages 16-19 who are high school dropouts remains low.

Hawaii ranked number 3 nationally in the percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds who were high school dropouts in 2007. The percentage of teens ages 16 to 19 in Hawaii who were high school dropouts decreased from five percent in 2000 to four percent in 2007. Nationally, seven percent of teens ages 16 to 19 were dropouts in 2007.

Percent of children in poverty remains low.

With only 10 percent of children living in poverty in 2007, Hawaii ranked 2nd among the 50 states. Between 2000 and 2007, the percentage of children in Hawaii who were poor decreased from 13 percent to 10 percent. Hawaii’s child poverty rate was well below the national average of 18 percent in 2007.

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