Arizona rated poorly for care of underprivileged children
PHOENIX — Arizona fared poorly in a personal finance website’s assessment of living and economic conditions for children across the nation.
According to WalletHub, Arizona is the ninth-worst state in addressing the problems of underprivileged children.
Using data from several resources — including the U.S. Census Bureau, Administration for Children and Families and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the website used 24 metrics to compare three main categories: health, socioeconomic welfare and education.
“Arizona (is) one of the states that has not expanded medicaid,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Unfortunately, that really affects low-income children and low-income families.”
The Grand Canyon State ranked 23rd worst in health, eighth worst in socioeconomic welfare and fourth worst in education.
The share of children in foster care in Arizona is around nine percent, according to Gonzalez. The typical state is around five percent.
About 40 percent of Arizona children live in single-parent households, she said.
Gonzalez added that 20 percent of kids experience food insecurity while 22 percent of children live in households below the poverty line.
“Almost a fifth of kids not knowing where or when their next meal is coming from,” she said.
Mississippi was given the worst rank at addressing problems of underprivileged children. New Jersey had the best rating.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.