Tue March 27, 2012
Health & Education

The Importance of Place: New 'Kids Count' Report Finds Location Matters

Child well-being varies widely from county to county in Colorado, according to a new report from a statewide children’s advocacy group. And the study suggests a child’s future opportunities depend a lot on where he or she lives.

The 2012 Kids Count! in Colorado report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign uses twelve indicators of well-being to measure how kids are faring in the state’s 25 largest counties, which are home to about 95% of the state’s child population.

Colorado Children's Campaign President Chris Watney says the study found big differences among those counties when it comes to health care, safe outdoor places to play, and quality education.  

“Where multiple disadvantages occur in a community at the same time, children face such greater challenges. And in communities where opportunities are more plentiful, we know that children are more likely to thrive. So it just matters where a child lives.”

One key finding is the powerful impact that poverty has on nearly every other aspect of child well-being.

“What we saw, really, when we ranked communities on how well kids are faring in that community – it correlated so closely to poverty trends in those communities,” says Watney.

Given that connection, Watney adds that it’s encouraging to see that child poverty remained flat between 2009 and 2010, after almost a decade of sharp increases. In addition, Colorado has boosted the number of children covered by health insurance, with roughly 10% of children uninsured.

But there continue to be wide gaps in academic achievement, depending on students’ family income and race/ethnicity – especially in the areas of reading, math, science and writing.

Read the full report HERE.