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New Report: Poverty Rate Continues to Climb for Missouri Kids

GRAPIC: MO Kids Count numbers
GRAPIC: MO Kids Count numbers
July 30, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Annie E. Casey Foundation's new KIDS COUNT Data Book finds children in Missouri are not doing so well economically. The foundation's Laura Speer says Missouri is very much like the rest of the states that continue to suffer from the recession.

"In Missouri in 2010, it was 21 percent of children lived below the poverty line, which is about $22,000 for a family of four, and that's an increase of over 19 percent since 2005."

While most states increased the number of children in preschool, the number of children in preschool dropped in Missouri by two percent, with 57 percent of Missouri children not enrolled in preschool. Speer says that's worrisome.

"The only way that we're going to be able to compete as a country in the next 20, 30 years, is if the kids who are in school now are able to compete in a very technologically-driven economy."

Speer says Missouri, like most of the other states, did make progress in getting children health insurance. Still, about six percent of Missouri children are uninsured. Overall, Missouri ranked 26th of the 50 states for child well-being.

The Missouri KIDS COUNT Data Book is at bit.ly/QqmZ5e.

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MO