As the new school year nears, a new study from WalletHub suggests Nevada does poorly with one particular group of children.
WalletHub looked at different metrics on how states across the country handle underprivileged children.
Nevada came in 45th.
Jill Gonzalez of WalletHub said the firm looked at 16 different factors to get their rankings, including infant mortality, food insecurity and percentage of maltreated children.
They also looked at healthcare and education factors, which Nevada has struggled with for a long time.
To define 'underprivileged,' WalletHub followed some of the same metrics as the U.S. Census Bureau. The group looked at children living in households that are at or below the poverty line, the number of children in foster care, children in single-parent families and kids who are homeless.
“Nevada had one of the highest rates of homeless, unaccompanied children and youth per population there,” Gonzalez said. “We can’t say why this is happening -- this is a quantitative study, but we can say this is trending regionally.”
While Nevada ranks poorly in a lot of factors, Gonzalez said it actually does well in what is known as economic mobility. That's a person's ability to move from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top.
“It is certainly more possible in Nevada to reach the top fifth of the economic rankings starting from the bottom fifth," she said. "Nevada actually ranked eighth for its mobility level.”
Gonzalez said there are more opportunities and fewer people vying for those opportunities in Nevada, compared to a state like New York.
Gonzalez said states doing better than Nevada when it comes to underprivileged kids targeted one specific problem and created a "snowball effect."
“I think one of the things that effects not only your health, not only your education, really all encompassing [...] is creating programs to make sure children know when and where their next meal is coming from,” she said. "Child food insecurity I think is a huge issue."
She said kids who are hungry can't focus at school, which hurts education, and they also struggle with basic health needs.
Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub
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