New Report Ranks Nebraska 10th in Child Well-Being

(7-22-14) The National Kids Count Report was released Tuesday, ranking Nebraska #10 across the nation in terms of child well-being.

That widely arching term covers four main sub-categories: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. Over the years, Nebraska improved in all of them except one--economic well-being. 

Voices for Children in Nebraska research coordinator Chrissy Tonkinson said that's because other states are doing more -- creating more policies and programs -- and Nebraska has remained stagnant.

Nebraska's children in poverty rate increased to 18% 2012, up 3% since 2005. Other rates that also worsened were the amount of households with insecure employment, high housing costs and single-parent families. And, the amount of children living in high-poverty areas has nearly doubled since 2000. Despite the state's worsening in economic well-being for children, Nebraska is ranked #5 in the nation in that category.

Nebraska's numbers are overall good and reflect the national averages, Tonkinson said. She added that Nebraska is a great place to be a kid.

Tonkinson also said Voices for Children in Nebraska supports increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour. She said the wages would allow families to make ends meet without public assistance.

Annie Bohling reporting for KFOR News