Every Child Matters has issued a new report, Geography Matters: Child Well-Being in the States, which shows wide gaps in key indicators of child well-being from state to state.
* Describes critical components of the 'grid of opportunity' that needs to be intact in order to support the well-being of children and families, and makes clear that for too many children, that grid has broken down.
* Supports the idea that the well-being of children is a 'path dependent' process. In other words, the start kids get in life sets them on the path that will take them to school and will prepare them for life.
* Supports the idea that the best way to insure the well-being of families and communities later on is to invest in the well-being of young children today.
* Focuses on the critical relationship between the environment in which children are raised and their well-being in school and life. As recent studies suggest, for example, children living in high crime neighborhoods can be a full year behind their peers when they reach school.
Among the key findings of the report:
Children in the lowest ranked states for each indicator are:
• Twice as likely to die in their first year as children inthe highest ranked state.
• Three times more likely to die between the ages of 1-14.
•Roughly three times more likely to die between the ages of 15-19.
• Three times more likely to be born to a teenage mother.• Five times more likely to have mothers who received late or no prenatal care.
• Three times more likely to live in poverty.
• Five times more likely to be uninsured.
• Eight times more likely to be incarcerated.
• Thirteen times more likely to die from abuse and neglect.