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More Work to be Done for Colorado Kids

By Tara Manthey

Child poverty in Colorado has declined for the first time since 2008, but the economic recovery isn’t even across the state, according to the annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report released this week by the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Many rural areas of the state are still experiencing high levels of poverty: 23 percent of kids in rural counties lived in poverty in 2013, up from 20 percent at the start of the recession. That compares to a statewide average of 17 percent.

The 22nd annual edition of the report, “From Plains to Plateaus: Examining Child Well-Being Across Colorado Places,” analyzes the differences in child well-being by community type to provide insight into the nuances of child well-being that exist across Colorado.

“Children in different types of communities share many of the same hopes and dreams, but often face very different opportunities and obstacles to reaching their full potential,” said Chris Watney, president and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “We hope policymakers, advocates, parents and practitioners will have a better sense of not only their communities, but also what unique situations are facing children from the plains to the plateaus. Ensuring resources and policies are specific to the needs of different types of communities is critical to ensuring the economic recovery reaches every child.”

The KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report is part of the national KIDS COUNT initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For the fourth year, the report includes a Child Well-being Index that compares how children are faring in Colorado’s largest 25 counties by using 12 indicators to assess children’s health, education and family and community support.

The index shows that child well-being varies widely from community to community. Again this year, Douglas County topped the list of Colorado counties with the best child well-being outcomes, while Denver moved out of last place for the first time since the index was created. Montezuma County was 25th this year.

Click here to download a copy of this year’s report.

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.