America’s Most Disadvantaged Counties for Kids are Mostly Communities of Color, Nearly All Rural & Poor New Save the Children Report Reveals

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Sara Neumann 203.209.6545 (M) Jeremy Soulliere 203.295.5842 (M)

Features First-Ever Childhood Ranking for U.S. Counties, Highlights Childhood Equity Gap, Plus State Rankings and Global Index

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 2, 2020) – The first-ever ranking of how each county in America protects and provides for its children reveals the most disadvantaged counties are mostly comprised of communities of color, and nearly all are rural, poor, and concentrated in the South, according to a Save the Children report released today. The bottom-ranked counties are also the same areas that are being hit hardest by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The county rankings in the third 
U.S. Complement to the Global Childhood Report are based on four factors that cut childhood short: hunger, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy and early death due to poor health, accident, murder or suicide. Among the more than 2,600 counties examined and ranked, more than 90 percent of the bottom-ranked counties are rural, nearly two-thirds are in the South, and three-quarters contain non-white majority populations. Children living in bottom-ranked counties die at rates up to 5 times of those of children in the highest ranked counties in their state. They are also up to 3 times as likely to struggle with hunger, 14 times as likely to drop out of high school and girls are 26 times more likely to get pregnant in their teens.  

“This report uncovers an unacceptable reality in America:
 millions of poor and marginalized children in this country do not get a fair chance to succeed in life because of who they are and where they grow up,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and Advocacy. “In nearly every state, there are stark disparities among the experiences and opportunities for children – with pockets of promise and great disadvantage. In these tumultuous times, let’s all commit to vote at every level of government – for the future of every child – to have equal opportunities to survive, thrive and be protected.”

This year’s 
Childhood Report, titled The Land of Inopportunity: Closing the Childhood Equity Gap for America’s Kids, also ranks all 50 states based on five factors that cause children to miss out on childhood: hunger, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, infant death, and child deaths by homicide and suicide. This analysis found that New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa are the best states for childhood, respectively, while Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas are the most challenging states for kids. The national findings also reveal that 1 in every 8 children across America experiences shockingly high rates of hunger, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy and/or child death.

“Children fare better in states that spend more on their needs and have champions at every level from the federal government to state houses to community leaders who prioritize child-focused legislation, funding and programs,” continued Shriver. “Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey are among the top 10 states that spend the most per child – including spending on K-12 education, health, income security and social services – and they all place in the top five in this year’s ranking. It doesn’t come as a surprise that more investment is linked to better outcomes for kids.”


The 
Global Childhood Report evaluates 180 countries on how they protect and prioritize children, based on these factors: child death, chronic malnutrition, child marriage, child labor, adolescent pregnancy, access to education, displacement due to conflict and child homicide. Singapore, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and Norway placed in the top five spots, respectively, while Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and South Sudan filled out the bottom 5 spots. The U.S. ranked 43rd, tied with China and Montenegro, and trails nearly all other high-income countries in helping children reach their full potential.

“Compared to last year, the report finds the overall situation for the world’s children is improving in 121 out of 180 countries. This is good news and shows that investments and policies focused on children’s well-being are working,” said Janti Soeripto, President & CEO of Save the Children. “But this progress for children is not happening quickly enough for the most vulnerable children – who are facing even greater risks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Save the Children is committed to making sure every last child has the childhood – and the future – they deserve.”


Save the Children is calling on America’s policymakers at all levels of government to work together to robustly support children, regardless of where they live, craft strong child-centric policies, provide sufficient resources, and create an appropriate environment for relevant early childhood programs and interventions to flourish.


“A child does not decide where to live, and where a child grows up should not dictate his or her future. We need targeted, new investments for the most vulnerable children who are being left behind, because childhood should not be left to chance,” said Betsy Zorio, Vice President, U.S. Programs & Advocacy, Save the Children. “Raising a more successful generation of children will benefit our nation, and the world, for years to come. Today’s children are tomorrow’s engineers, nurses, teachers, firefighters, entrepreneurs, inventors, humanitarians and simply put, leaders.” 


To download and read the full report – and access an interactive map with the U.S. state and county data, including COVID-19 vulnerability data by county – visit 
SavetheChildren.org/Childhood. To access the Global Report and accompanying interactive map, visit SavetheChildren.org/GlobalChildhood

May 1, 2020 - Letter From The Board President

May 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

We hope that you are well and safe as we continue to socially distance during the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Long Island Council’s immediate mission is to keep you, our loyal friends and supporters, updated with what Save the Children is currently doing nationally and globally.

As Nicholas Kristof pointed out in his Opinion Column in the New York Times on April 25, “Even in the best of times, the United States has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world, and now many of those children are at home missing both school lunches and an education. Twelve million children don't have internet at home, so how are they supposed to engage in remote learning?

Save the Children is best known for helping children in Africa and Asia, but it also works in low-income American communities and it is now stepping into the breach. In these areas in the United States, Save the Children is providing both meals and books all for less than $15,000 per school district.”

Please take the time to read about all that Save the Children is doing to combat the biggest global health crisis in our lifetime.

1. FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN THE U.S. – FIGHTING HUNGER AND SUPPORTING LEARNING
With our strong presence in over two hundred of America’s least-served communities and our history of domestic emergency response, Save the Children has the expertise and capacity to move quickly to support kids and families in greatest need. We are:

  • Providing nutritious meals for children at food banks, churches and schools, and working to
  • Provide food deliveries to rural homes where needed.
  • Providing families with books and educational resources, including play-based learning materials
  • for younger kids.
  • Adapting our Early Steps to School Success program to hold “home visits” over the phone to
  • Maintain continuity and help caregivers deal with the sense of isolation.
  • And we will leverage our SummerBoost and after-school programs to help kids catch up once it’ssafe to be back in school.

2. FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES GLOBALLY – LIMITING SPREAD AND SUPPORTING HEALTH & HYGIENE Based on our global experience of responding to pandemics, which we have done for many years, we know that COVID-19 poses multiple risks to children. Save the Children is doing everything in our power to protect and support children and their families everywhere we work. Our aim now is to extend the reach and strengthen the impact of our programs in the poorest and most at-risk countries, focusing on four areas:

  • Preventing and managing the spread of the pandemic.
  • Helping children learn, stay safe, and return to school.
  • Supporting family survival and food security through safety nets.
  • Keeping children, families and communities safe.

Stay well,
Lori Homer President
stclipres@gmail.com