Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children’s Lives – January 2012

Posted on February 2, 2012. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics | Tags: |

Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children’s Lives – January 2012

2012 STATE Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI)

“The FCD Child Well-Being Index (CWI) is a national, research-based composite measure, updated annually, that describes how young people in the United States have fared since 1975. The CWI is the nation’s most comprehensive measure of trends in the quality-of-life of children and youth. It combines national data from 28 indicators across seven domains into a single number that reflects overall child well-being.”

“Key Findings
The key findings from this study are:
• Higher State Taxes Are Better for Children. States that have higher tax rates generate higher revenues and have higher CWI values than states with lower tax rates.
• Public Investments in Children Matter. The amount of public investments in programs is strongly related to CWI values among states. Specifically, higher per-pupil spending on education, higher Medicaid child-eligibility thresholds, and higher levels of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits show a substantial correlation with child well-being across states.
• A Child’s Well-Being Is Strongly Related to the State Where He or She Lives. Child well-being varies tremendously from state to state, ranging from a 0.85 index value for New Jersey, the highest ranked state, to a negative 0.96 index value for New Mexico, the lowest-ranked state.”

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