The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Alabama 46th in overall child well-being as compared with other states across the nation. Massachusetts and New Hampshire received this year’s top rankings, while only Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico ranked lower than Alabama.
The Data Book uses 16 indicators with data from 2008 to 2020 and ranks each state across four domains: health, education, economic well-being and family and community. Alabama saw improvements in 11 of the 16 indicators and remained the same in 2 and got worse in 3. Alabama improved in all four indicators in the economic well-being and family and community domains, and got worse in three of the four health indicators.
The bright spots for our state in this year’s report are high school students not graduating on time – at 8% Alabama ranked 1st compared to all other states; children without health insurance – at 3% Alabama ranked 4th compared to all other states; and children living in households with a high housing cost burden – at 25% Alabama ranked 19th compared to all other states.
This year’s report also focused on mental health. The nation saw an increase of 25.5% in the number of children 3 to 17 years of age showing anxiety and/or depression over the four year period of 2016-2020. In Alabama, the increase was 7.3% or nearly 80,000 children experiencing mental health issues during this same time period.