Report: Latino Kids Face More Obstacles to Opportunity in Arizona Than in Most States

A report from a child-welfare foundation says Latino kids in Arizona face more obstacles to opportunity than Latino kids in almost every other state.

The "Race for Results" report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation compares various measures of obstacles for children of different races. Nationwide, white and Asian children generally faced fewer obstacles than Latino, black, or Native American children.

The report took into account 12 factors, mostly related to education or poverty, like measures of high school students graduating on time, or children living in families 200 percent or more above the poverty line.

"Despite efforts to eradicate the most overt forms of racism in this country, a web of stubborn obstacles remains, undermining the chances for children of color and their families to succeed," the report states. "Even families of color in the middle class have a very tenuous hold on their economic status. Children of color are more likely to fall out of the middle class and are more likely to stay in the lower class as adults."

Children of all races in Arizona were a little behind the national average in these measures, except for black children, who fare better in Arizona than in other states (which is still well below the measure for white children), and Latino children, who face many more obstacles in Arizona than in most other states.

Only six states had lower scores for Latino children, and here are the factors for Latino kids in Arizona, plus white kids in Arizona, for comparison:

  • Babies born at normal birthweight: 94 percent (93 percent for whites)

  • Children age 3 To 5 enrolled in preschool or kindergarten: 41 percent (53 percent for whites)

  • Fourth graders at or above proficient in reading: 17 percent (42 percent for whites)

  • Eighth graders at or above proficient in math: 19 percent (45 percent for whites)

  • Females 15 to 19 who delay childbearing until adulthood: 86 percent (95 percent for whites)

  • High school students graduating on time: 71 percent (77 percent of whites)

  • Young adults ages 19 to 26 who are in school or working: 73 percent (86 percent of whites)

  • Adults ages 25 to 29 who have an associate's degree or higher: 18 percent (43 percent of whites)

  • Children who live with a householder who has at least a high school diploma: 66 percent (95 percent of whites)

  • Children in two-parent families: 63 percent (74 percent of whites)

  • Children in families 200 percent above poverty: 32 percent (67 percent of whites)

  • Children living in low-poverty areas: 48 percent (86 percent of whites)

Except for the normal birthweight category, the U.S. average for Latinos was better in every single category.

Despite Latino kids facing more obstacles in Arizona than in the rest of the country, American Indian children in Arizona actually have a higher factor of obstacles. However, data on American Indian children wasn't available in most states to make a comparison.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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