By Jessica Pollard, Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug. 8, 2022

After moving up to 49th place in 2021, updated data on factors such as child poverty and school enrollment knocked New Mexico down to 50th in the nation for child well-being, according to the national 2022 Kids Count survey released Monday.

The most recent ranking — based on 16 indicators that include economic, education, health and family factors to calculate a composite score — falls in line with a decade-long trend for New Mexico, which has been at or near the bottom for overall child well-being since 2012.

But officials said the data is largely comprised of numbers collected two or more years ago, and they said they hope more recent figures will show improvements yielded by recent investments in education and early childhood.

“[The data] doesn’t necessarily reflect many of the policy changes we’ve seen at a state level,” New Mexico Voices for Children Executive Director Amber Wallin said in an interview Monday. “When the data catches up to the policy, we expect to see continued improvement for New Mexico’s children and families.”

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