Kids Count: More kids in Tennessee poor, but insured

An annual report that ranks the well-being of children in each state places Tennessee 36th in the nation. That’s three notches better than last year, partly because the report used new methodology.

Tennessee fared best in the area of child health, ranking 16th. That category looks at low-birth weight, child and teen deaths, teen substance abuse, and the number of kids that are insured.

There’s been a steady rise since 2008 in the number of children covered by health insurance in the state. This isn’t all good news, though.

The increase is because more families are falling into poverty, with their kids becoming eligible for Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare.

Tennessee did show slight improvements in the number of students graduating from high school on time and the number of parents who hold a high school diploma. The state also had a reduction in teen births.

This is the 23rd year for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report.

WEB EXTRA: For an interactive wheel that compares states’ data, click here.

To look at more Tennessee kids’ well-being data, including community-level data, click here.

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