In an ideal world, all children would live worry-free and have access to their basic needs: nutritious food, a good education, quality health care and a secure home. Emotionally, they all would feel safe and be loved and supported by caring adults. When all such needs are met, children have a better chance of a stable and happy adult life. But in reality, not every child is so privileged—even in the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
The U.S., in fact, has the seventh highest rate of child poverty—over 29 percent—among economically developed countries. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, more than 694,000 American children are abused or neglected every year.
But some states address the problems of underprivileged children better than others. To determine where children are most disadvantaged, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key indicators of neediness. The data set ranges from share of children in households with below-poverty income to child food-insecurity rate to share of maltreated children. Scroll over the map below to see how your state ranked.
(SEE BELOW) CHART: AT-RISK YOUTH STATE RANKINGS
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key indicators of neediness to come up with a composite ranking (1 being worst, 51 best).
Used by permission of WalletHub. See the full report.