Survey: More children living in poverty

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An annual survey released Monday shows the rate of children living in poverty increased to 23 percent in 2011.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2012 Kids Count Survey Ranked Missouri 27th in the overall annual assessment. The Show-Me State ranked 26th in the last assessment.

Child advocates in Missouri said the lingering effects of the recent recession were still adversely impacting children.

Child Poverty, particularly among very young children, continues to rise. The report said 22 percent of children in Missouri live in poverty. That is more than 300,000 children.

In 2005, Missouri had a child poverty rate of 19 percent.

Overall, the state improved from the last assessment in education, health and family support indicators. The improvement moved Missouri to 21 from the 24th in education nationwide.

In Kansas, the report indicated kids are making strides in education and health. Kansas ranked 16th in the nation overall in the annual report.  There was decline in the teen birth rate from 7.2 to 7.1. There is also a decline in the number of uninsured children.

Among other economic well-being indicators, the percent of Kansas children whose parents lack secure employment has grown from 22 to 25 percent.

The Southwest has been hit particularly hard. New Mexico, for the first time, has slipped to worst in the nation when it comes to child well-being.

New Mexico is followed in the rankings by Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona.

Overall, the report shows there have been gains in education and health nationally, but since 2005, there have been serious setbacks when it comes to the economic well-being of children.

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