By Susan Dunlap, NM Political Report
June 11, 2024

New Mexico continues to rank at the bottom of the country for child well-being, with a score of 50th and also at the bottom for childhood education, according to the new KIDS Count Data Book.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual assessment of child wellbeing state by state. Besides overall well-being, the foundation also ranks states on education, health, economic well-being and family and community. This year, the data book also contains information on Adverse Childhood Experiences on a state-by-state basis as well as chronic absences in schools. With 50 percent of New Mexico children experiencing one or more ACE for the 2021-2022 school year, New Mexico tied Mississippi for the highest percentage of children who experience one or more ACEs for the 2021-2022 school year, which is the year the most recent data is available.

New Mexico also had one of the highest rates of chronically absent children from school for the 2021-2022 school year, with 41 percent, which tied the state of Montana. Only Oregon, Alaska, Arizona and the District of Columbia had higher percentages of chronically absent children.

New Mexico Voices for Children noted that New Mexico has improved in its child poverty rate since previous rankings. In this data book, the study found 23 percent of children were living in poverty in 2022. In 2019, the rate was 25 percent.

Read more at the NM Political Report