New report indicates Missouri could do better to ensure children’s well-being

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A recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, titled “Race for Results,” has evaluated children’s well-being across all states, revealing significant disparities in Missouri based on race and ethnicity.

The study looked at various indicators of child well-being, from early childhood education to family resources, placing Missouri in a middling position nationally. However, the state’s rankings vary widely when broken down by race or ethnicity, with Asian and Pacific Islander children ranked 14th and white children ranked 40th in terms of well-being.

Tracy Greever-Rice, the Kids Count program director for the Missouri Family and Community Trust, highlighted that these findings align with historical patterns. “White children have seen an increase in poverty rates, whereas Asian children, who also fare the best in the ‘Race for Results’ report, are the only group showing a decrease in poverty rates,” said Greever-Rice.

The report also places Latino children in Missouri 15th for well-being relative to other states, with Black children ranking 38th. Despite some improvements among multiracial children in areas such as poverty, vulnerable groups continue to face adverse outcomes. Greever-Rice emphasized that economic conditions and public policies disproportionately impact children based on their race and ethnicity.

A notable aspect of this edition of the “Race for Results” report is its use of the U.S. Census Bureau’s updated categorization for individuals of two or more races, reflecting changes from the 2020 decennial census. Greever-Rice believes these revised race categories significantly influence the findings.

To support children of all racial backgrounds, Greever-Rice advocates for Missouri’s adoption of evidence-based best practices that have been successful elsewhere.

(Photo licensed via Envato Elements)

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