South Dakota ranks 26th in overall child well-being

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The 2019 edition of the "Kids count" data book has been released.

It's published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the book ranks each state on the overall well-being of children in the U.S.

South Dakota has experienced rapid population growth, adding 15,000 children since 1990.

While the state's ranking on overall child well-being has improved from 29th to 26th, the report also shows significant investments must be made to improve children's educational and health outcomes.

South Dakota ranks in the top ten of all states in child economic well-being and the top half in family and community.

However, the state ranks nearly last in child health, sitting at 45th and 31st in education.

Kids Count South Dakota director, Carole Cochran of the University of South Dakota believes this data can help better the state.

"Those are some areas we can look at, look at those indicators and see what policies need to change or how we can improve some of that," said Cochran.

The goal of the Annie E. Casey foundation is to compile information that can help states understand the well-being of children so they can improve the circumstances for those children.

"The point of looking at this data is to ask the questions, what are can do to help our kids do better than they're doing today," Annie E. Foundation Director of Policy Reform and Advocacy, Noah Berger said.

The study found 64% of fourth-graders in the state are not proficient in reading and 58% of eighth-graders are not proficient in math.

As a nation, the number of children who do not have health insurance is down 62 % since 1990.

The Annie E. Casey foundation says its up to policy makers and advocates to use this data to make changes in their own states

Click here to access the full Kids Count Report Book