Arizona Ranked Among Worst States for Kids, Which Probably Won't Surprise Anyone

Believe it or not, a national group that promotes the welfare of children believes Arizona's not the greatest place for kids.

Arizona ranks 46th out of the 50 states in child well-being, according to Kids Count, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

That ranking's based on a few groups of indicators, including economic well-being, education, health, and family. Arizona sucks at just about all of 'em.

Take economic well-being, which also ranked 46th out of 50. Almost one-quarter of the state's kiddos are living in poverty.

In education, also ranked 46th, most kids aren't going to preschool, most fourth-graders aren't proficient in reading, and most eighth-graders aren't proficient in math.

Since our state's schools chief apparently isn't the best at math, either, it's not that surprising.

Perhaps most surprising about Arizona's ranking is health for youngsters, which came in at 36th out of 50 -- the state's best ranking.

Child and teen deaths aren't that much higher than the national average, although based on what we've seen, luck may have had a hand in that. For example, people who drive around with kids on the roof of their car, or use infants as ash trays, or keep their kid in a house covered with feces.

Then there are the kids who aren't lucky, like the baby who died because mom was just "too tired" to take them to the hospital, or the kid who was just tossed in the garbage after she died.

That said, Arizona's still not the worst when it comes to health, even though the state's high-schoolers love them some drugs.

As for family, Arizona's back down in the dumps -- ranking 46th -- with more single-parent homes, fewer parents with high school diplomas, higher poverty, and way more teen births than the national average.

In case you want to prevent moving to a state that seems to be shittier for kids than Arizona, don't go to Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, or Louisiana.

Check out the whole report here, and Arizona's page here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley