Wyoming ranks second to last in children’s health

WYOMING — Wyoming ranked 21st in overall wellbeing for children, but came in almost dead last in children’s health.

The rankings come from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2019 Kid’s Count Data Book, which measures state trends in child well-being.

The data show that 8.7% of Wyoming children were born underweight in 2017, compared to 8.3% nationwide. Perhaps the biggest gap is between Wyoming kids with health insurance and kids in the rest of the nation. Only 5% of Wyoming children have health insurance, compared to 10% nationwide.

Samin Dadelahi, chief operating officer with the Wyoming Community Foundation, told Public News Service that the lack of health insurance is likely the largest culprit in Wyoming’s low health rank.

“Without a doubt, the one statistic that pulls us down, when we’re double the national average, is the number of children without health insurance,” Dadelahi said.

Wyoming’s health score was consistent with other states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

On the other hand, Wyoming ranked 9th in family and community. Fewer than .5% of children live in high-poverty areas, and 5% of children come from families where the household head lacks a high school diploma. The state also ranked 14th in education and economic well-being.

View Wyoming’s full data profile here.

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