Maine has moved up to ninth place in the national rankings for child health and well-being, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book.
Claire Berkowitz of the Maine Children's Alliance says that the jump comes in part because of improvements in the economic well-being of children.
“We saw a steep decline in child poverty between 2016 and 2017, going from 17 percent in 2016 to 13 percent in 2017.”
Over the past year, Maine had the highest decline in child poverty in the country. Berkowitz says this can be attributed to the increase in the state's minimum wage.
Maine ranked 23rd in the education indicator, with fewer than half of children ages 3 and 4 in school. But this is the first time the state has ranked in the top 10 for child health and well-being.
Eliana Miller is a 2019 intern with Maine Public.