This week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual Kids Count, a nation-wide, state-by-state ranking of the overall well-being of children.
Nevada ranked 47th overall – a number unchanged from the previous year.
The count was broken into four categories: Economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
While Nevada saw improvements in almost all categories, it wasn't enough to lift the state out of the lowest percentile. Although Nevada’s teens are generally seeing improvements in health, Nevada ranks last in the nation for high school students graduating on time.
"As we get all the economic information about how we've recovered as a state, that we have come back and things are supposedly at a fuller swing, you would hope that you would see more of our numbers on child well-being improve," said Louise Helton, communications specialist with Nevada Kids Count.
Helton added that the latest numbers do not reflect any of the investment from the 2015 legislative session, which won't be included until next year's Kids Count.
She stressed, however, that Nevada still has an uphill battle when it comes to improving its numbers.
"Let's not fool ourselves, it's a heavy lift when you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, which we are," Helton said.
One of the areas with marked improvements was teen birth rates, which in 2008 was 49 per 1,000, and in 2014 was 29 per 1,000.
Helton, who has been involved with education advocacy since the early 90s, said more investment in early childhood care and head start programs is key to helping future Nevadans.
Nevada's Kids Count Rankings:
Economic well-being: 40
Family and community: 44
Louise Helton, communications specialist, Nevada Kids Count
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