by Sami Edge, Santa Fe New Mexican
Sept. 16, 2018
New Mexico has moved up the ranks when it comes to childhood poverty rates, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Well, kind of.
In 2016, the state was ranked worst in the nation, with about 30 percent of children having experienced poverty in a 12-month period, census data show.
According to data released Thursday, that estimate has dropped slightly to around 27 percent in 2017.
That means New Mexico is no longer in last place where childhood poverty is concerned. The state actually jumped to the second-worst state in the nation, conceding last place to Louisiana.
Poverty levels for children under 5 dropped even more significantly, from 36.2 percent statewide in 2016 to 28.9 percent in 2017, census data show.
The numbers, while encouraging, are not necessarily a comprehensive look at childhood poverty, says Sharon Kayne, communications director for child advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children.