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Tue June 25, 2013
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Report: 1-in-4 Tenn. Children Lives in Poverty

Credit aecf.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A report on the well-being of children in Tennessee shows the state has improved in key areas despite a drop in its ranking.

The annual Kid’s Count report is produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation with assistance from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

Tennessee now ranks 39th when it comes to overall child well-being, a drop from last year's ranking of 36th. However, foundation spokesperson Laura Speers says Tennessee did show marked improvement in the area of children’s health.

“The percent of low birth-weight babies is dropping, the percent of children who lack health insurance is at six percent now compared to seven percent in 2008. The child and teen death rate has declined, as well as the rate of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs.”

On the down side, Speer says one child in four now lives below Tennessee’s poverty line, while more than a third live in a home where no one holds a full time job.