By Margaret O’Hara, Santa Fe New Mexican
June 14, 2023

It’s official: New Mexico will spend another year at the bottom of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2023 Kids Count Data Book’s child well-being rankings.

For the fourth time in five years, the state ranked 50th nationwide in the data set, an amalgamation of economic well-being, health, education and family demographic data released Wednesday from all 50 states.

Despite the state’s poor showing, Amber Wallin, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children — the statewide children’s advocacy organization which collects Kids Count data each year — isn’t too concerned about New Mexico’s 50th place spot. Rather, she said, she’s focused on New Mexico’s improvements compared to the New Mexico of a decade ago, a comparison she said shows some progress.

“The thing about the rankings is that they’re only one small part of the story about child well-being and about opportunity. … They don’t tell us about where we’ve been as a state, how far we’ve come or where we should be going,” Wallin said.

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