The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book was released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in partnership with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, director of Oklahoma KIDS COUNT.
Oklahoma’s overall ranking on child well-being moved from 40th in 2012 to 36th in the current data. The ranking is based on an analysis of 16 key indicators in four areas: Economic Well-being, Health, Education and Family/Community. Education was the only indicator of the four that worsened from last year.
Good news: Oklahoma’s teen birth rate showed another decline, following the national trend. The decline is a result, in part, to the expansion of effective prevention programs and adolescent health services — especially in the metro areas, led by the Tulsa Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, the new Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Oklahoma County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition.
While the state is moving in a positive direction on some critical child well-being indicators, Oklahoma’s ranking remains far from the national average. Additionally, when the current indicators are compared to the same data from 2005, most of Oklahoma’s child poverty indicators worsened.