‘Kids Count’ report shows progress, setbacks for Colo. children

Jenny Brundin/CPR News
Students learn numbers at Early Excellence in north Denver.

A new national report shows that Colorado ranks 22nd in overall child well-being – down a spot from last year.

Though the state’s lowest ranking came in the area of health care – 39th in the nation -- Colorado is showing progress there according to the latest Kids Count report. Nine percent of kids don’t have health insurance now compared to 13 percent a few years ago.

The report found that rising poverty here is slowing positive trends in areas like teen birth:

And graduation rates:

Chris Watney, with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, said people think that because overall, Colorado ranks in the middle of states, things aren’t so bad.

"The reality is, in Colorado, we have a lot of kids who are doing really well and then we have a lot of kids who are struggling and that number is growing," Watney says.

She says the state will never make dramatic improvements in health and education until child poverty rates start to decrease. The annual nationwide data come from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.