I am all about that. According to an annual study called the Kids Count, that measures the health and well-being of children and teens, less teenagers are having babies or dropping out of high school. Yet more teenagers are living in poverty. Hmmm.
The report measures each state’s progress on 10 statistics, including infant mortality, poverty rates, single-parent families and babies born with low birth weights.
States in the Northeast and upper Midwest scored the best. At the top: New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Minnesota and Iowa. Southern states did the worst: Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Nationally, there were improvements in eight of the 10 measurements in the 1990s, when the economy was booming, government-sponsored health care for children was expanded significantly and welfare reform helped move hundreds of thousands of families from welfare to work.
One issue that has continued to improve: teen pregnancies. Teenagers’ birth rates fell from 48 per 1,000 females in 2000 to 42 per 1,000 in 2003.
“We see a continuing decline in births to teenagers, but we don’t see any decline in the percent of children in single parent families,” said Wade Horn, assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Single parent families are tough, but a reality. Many women don’t want to get married, but want to have babies and more power to them. But I am all for a decrease in teenage births. More education, more resources etc., that never hurts.
OMG?! Do you think sex education is helping this situation at all?