Oklahoma ranks 42nd for child well-being in in 2021 Kids Count report


Oklahoma ranks among the bottom 10 states in the nation for child well-being, according to a new annual report released last week. 

The state rose three places from the previous year’s rankings, from 45th to 42nd, according to the new Kids Count report, which is produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and evaluates states in four categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. 

In those four categories, Oklahoma ranked highest — 33rd — in economic well-being, the same spot it landed in for the 2020 report. The state ranked 41st in family and community, down one spot from the previous year; 45th in education, which is up three spots from 2020; and 42nd in health, an increase of seven spots from last year’s report.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • 1 in 5 Oklahoma children — 186,000 — were living in households with an income below the poverty line. Compared to the state average of 20%, an even higher proportion of Black and Latino children live in poverty — 38% and 27%, respectively — compared to 14% of non-Hispanic white children.
  • About 86,000 children, roughly 9%, in Oklahoma don’t have health insurance.
  • 95,000 Oklahoma children live in high-poverty areas.
  • And many Oklahoma children are falling behind in school: 71% of fourth-graders aren’t proficient in reading, and 74% of eighth graders aren’t proficient in math. 

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