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State ranks lower for kids

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Hawaii is among five states seeing the biggest decline in the well-being of children over the last 10 years, according to the annual Kids Count Data Book produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The state ranked 22nd in the 2010 data book, compared to 14th in 2000 and 11th in 2007.

"This is an indication that our state is not doing as well for our children as we can and should — and we must redouble our efforts to ensure that all of Hawaii’s children thrive and achieve," said Sylvia Yuen, director of the University of Hawaii Center on the Family.

The annual Kids Count report looks at 10 indicators of child well-being in compiling its rankings.

Hawaii ranked second in the nation for having among the lowest teen death rates in the county and for a low percentage of children living in poverty.

In Hawaii, the percentage of children living in poverty fell from 13 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2008, significantly below the national average of 18 percent.

However, the state fell behind in rankings comparing infant mortality rate, percentage of teens not in school, and the number of children in single-parent families.

The other states that saw the biggest decline in the rankings were Montana, South Dakota, Maine and Alaska.


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