By Jamey Dunn, Illinois Issues
The number of children living in poverty in Illinois increased in the last year but the state saw improvements in education and health care, according to a new study that seeks to measure the quality of life of children across the country.
The 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looked at four categories: health, education, economic well-being and family and community factors. Overall, Illinois ranked 21st out of 50 states, which is an improvement over the state's 27th ranking in 2011. According to the study, Illinois generally followed national trends, which showed improvement in some areas of education and health while economic security and positive factors at home and in the community slipped. According to the study, the number of children living in poverty in America has increased from 12.2 million in 2000 to more than 15.7 million in 2010. “Unlike the domains of education and health, where children are benefiting from long-term progress overall, the economic well-being of children and families has plummeted because of the recession,” the report said.
Of the more than 15.7 million kids living in poverty in 2010, 600,000 were in Illinois, and the state ranked 27th in the category for economic well-being. In 2010, 19 percent of Illinois children were living in poverty, this is an increase from 16 percent in 2005 but below the national average for 2010, which is 22 percent. Job security for families also appeared to be slipping in the state, with 32 percent of children living with parents who lacked job security. That has increased from 26 percent in 2005.
Illinois ranked fourth among the states in health insurance coverage for children in 2010. Only 4 percent of children in the state went without coverage, compared with 8 percent nationally. However, that still meant that 140,000 Illinois children were without health insurance in 2010. Illinois ranked 14th in overall child health and has improved since 2005 in all health related areas measured by the study.
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/more-children-living-in-poverty-in.html