Connecticut’s record on child poverty has improved in the last year, but the U.S. as a whole is making only slow progress in lifting kids out of poverty. That's according to a new report from Save the Children.
This is the second year that Save the Children, which is based in Fairfield, has produced an index looking at how countries around the world, and states around the U.S., do when it comes to the welfare of children.
The report highlights events that end childhood too early for many - death, violence, dropping out of school, malnutrition and teen pregnancy. The U.S. as a whole ranks only 36th in the world on those measures.
But Connecticut has improved in the last year, and ranks fifth among all states.
And the Nutmeg State has one particular distinction. “Connecticut actually has the lowest rates of rural child poverty in the country, at 7.8 percent," said Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children. "Now other states have much, much bigger areas of rural communities, like Louisiana and Mississippi, but kids that are living in rural Connecticut are relatively much better off.”
But poverty among children in Connecticut is unequally distributed; by contrast 13.1 percent of Connecticut’s urban kids grow up poor - a higher rate than almost a dozen other states.
Save the Children says it hopes this report, and particularly its focus on rural poverty will prompt action. "It sounds simple, but it really is about focusing on children," said Miles, noting that states which prioritize spending particularly on health and education for children have much better outcomes.