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Arizona Ranks in the Bottom Five States for Conditions for Kids

July 24, 2012

CONTACT: Dana Wolfe Naimark    
(602) 266-0707 #214 work, (602) 882-5755 cell

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Arizona ranks fifth worst overall for conditions for children and families, according to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The economic recession has taken a terrible toll on children: conditions worsened in seven of the 16 indicators in Arizona since 2005. Despite the tough economic times, Arizona showed improvement in several key areas, including the teen birthrate and the child death rate.

“The most important impact these ranking can have is to mobilize us toward renewed resolve and action to give all children growing up in Arizona the chance to reach their dreams,” said Dana Wolfe Naimark, President and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance (CAA).

The 2012 Data Book has been updated with a new index that reflects advances in research about child development and provides the most recent data available across the country for a comprehensive portrait of how American children are faring. It assesses states based on data for 16 indicators in four equally weighted domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Arizona ranks 36th in the Health domain and 46th in the other three domains and overall.

The states ranking below Arizona overall include Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi. The top five states are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

“During this election season it is especially clear that public policy and leadership can make a difference for children’s success,” said Naimark.  “Voters expect every candidate running for the state legislature and Congress in Arizona to offer specific commitments to improve children’s health, education, and security.”

CAA is helping voters get to know the issues and the candidates.  Last month, CAA distributed to every legislative candidate a questionnaire about their positions on key issues and a fact sheet on the status of children in their new legislative district. 

Completed questionnaires and the fact sheets are posted at www.azchildren.org along with other information about the August primary and November general election.