South Carolina ranks 39th in the nation for child well-being, a slight improvement from last year’s ranking of 41st, according to the latest Kids Count, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Contributing to the gains is that the teen birth rate fell 40 percent in 2015 from 2010. Over the same time frame, children with a head of household without a high school diploma decreased 14 percent, and children living in poverty dropped 8 percent.
S.C. children’s economic outlook improved to 33rd in the nation from 37th last year, as the percentage of the state’s children whose parents lack secure employment fell to 31 percent in 2015 from 37 percent in 2010, according to the report.
Palmetto State kids also saw their health improve to 34th in the nation from 37th, mostly because children without health insurance fell to 4 percent in 2015 from 9 percent in 2010.
South Carolina’s children improved slightly from last year in education and family circumstances to 37th in the nation. But the state fared worse in some ways, including lagging test scores in math and fewer preschool-aged students attending school.