Louisiana kids suffer – Worst state for children

Life for children in Louisiana is riskier, harder and poorer than anywhere else in the U.S., the Associated Press reported on June 20.

In a report issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child advocacy group, Louisiana ranked at the bottom of the nation for well-being among children in 1997.

Mississippi and Arkansas ranked 49th and 48th worst in the country, followed by Alabama and New Mexico.

Minnesota ranked the highest in the country for well-being among children, followed by New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Louisiana has lingered at the bottom of the Casey Foundation’s report since it was initiated in 1990.

The latest report shows that the number of Louisiana babies born with low weight and living in single-parent homes grew in 1997.

The report also found some positive trends in Louisiana: fewer children were dying and living in poverty and more children were graduating from high school in 1997.

Judy Watts, head of the New Orleans-based Agenda for Children, said poverty is Louisiana’s major obstacle: half of Louisiana children come from poor families.

“I think as far back as you go, Louisiana has been a poor, rural area,” said David Hood, secretary of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

For full text of the article, go to the Associated Press.

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