The Baltimore-based nonprofit, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, recently released its annual “The Kids Count” report. The report examines data across 16 total indicators in four broad categories: education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. New Mexico was once again ranked last overall. The data is derived from the years 2021 to 2022.
The state ranked 49th in economic well-being, with 24 percent of children in poverty — a mere once percent change from last year’s 25 percent.
35 percent of New Mexico children’s parents lack secure employment, an increase of three percent from the last year at 32 percent.
Children living in households with a high-cost burden remained the same at 26 percent, but still very high.
Teens not in school and not working shot up one percent to 12 percent from last year’s 11 percent.
In the category of education, New Mexico ranked 50th, with 59 percent of children ages three and four not in school (the same percentage as last year), 79 percent of fourth-graders not proficient in reading (up from last year’s 76 percent), 87 percent of eighth-graders not proficient in math (up from 79 percent last year), and 23 percent of high school students not graduating on time, a slight improvement from 25 percent previously.
New Mexico ranked 44th in health, with 9.4 percent low birth weight in newborns, slightly up from the previous 9.3 percent, six percent of children without health insurance (the same figure from last year), 43 teen deaths per 100,000 (up from 36 previously), and 36 percent of teens ages 10 to 17 who are overweight or obese (up from the previous 32 percent).
In the family and community category, 44 percent of children in New Mexico live in single-parent households (the same as before), 12 percent of children live in households that lack a high school diploma (slightly better than the previous 14 percent), 19 percent of children living in high-poverty areas (up from 22 percent), and 19 teen births per 1,000 (down from 42 previously).