NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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2011 Kids Count

2011 Kids Count


          Each year the national Kids Count program publishes an assessment of children’s well-being in the United States.  Kids Count uses ten measure to rank states in a wide variety of factors, such as health, economic security and educational attainment. They also reflect children’s experiences across developmental stages. These ten indicators permit Kids Count to make comparisons across states and overtime.

          Since 1988, the annual Kids Count Data book has indicated that with respect to those ten measures of child well-being, North Dakota children do well in comparison to other states.

          According to the 2011 Kids Count info, North Dakota ranks in the top ten in the nation with respect to 7 of the 10 measures of well-being.  North Dakota ranks low in the percent of single-parent families, low in how many babies are born with a low birth weight, low in the number of teens not in school and not working, low in the percent of children whose parents do not have secure employment, low in the percent of children living in poverty, low in the percent of teens who are not high school grads and low in the rate of births to teens.

          However, and it is a very important however, North Dakota ranks in the bottom half of all states for the above national average rate of infant mortality and deaths of teens. North Dakota ranks 44th in the nation with respect of our teen death rate. From 2000 to 2007, North Dakota’s teen death rate worsened by 71%. The leading cause of teen death in North Dakota is traffic accidents, accounting for 41% of teen deaths in 2007.

          In addition, while Kids Count indicates that child poverty has declined in North Dakota from 15% to 13% in 2099, another reliable indicator, the American Community Survey, found that at least 30% of the children in eight of our fifty-three counties are impoverished.  The American Community Survey found that more than 18,000 children live in poverty in North Dakota.  

          Again, North Dakota has historically ranked well in children’s well-being, however- another however, North Dakota recently ranked 47th in the nation for making improvements in our children’s well-being.

          While many children are doing well in North Dakota, we need to keep in mind the ways in which we can assist all children in developing into productive, healthy citizens of our state. Clearly there are areas for improvement in Child well-being in North Dakota.


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