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Survey: N.H. Top In Kids’ Welfare



Associated Press
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Concord — New Hampshire is the highest-ranked state for children’s well-being, according to a national survey released on Wednesday.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report, based on data from 2016, ranks New Hampshire first overall and second in economic well-being, with drops in the number of children living in households with high cost burdens and children living in poverty.

New Hampshire also topped the list last year. Massachusetts was the second-best state in child well-being, followed by New Jersey. New Mexico ranked last among the 50 states.

However, the survey noted that 5 percent of New Hampshire’s teens abused alcohol and drugs, which places the state at its lowest ranking of 24th in the country.

Jake Berry, vice president of policy at New Futures, a nonpartisan group that wants to improve the health and wellness of residents through policy change, said the report does not capture the full story of youth in New Hampshire.

“While we’re proud to see New Hampshire recognized for the investments our communities make in their children, there are a number of data indicators that are certainly heading in the wrong direction,” Berry said.

He said the report does not account for the increasing number of children being removed from their homes, nor does it fully take into consideration the opioid epidemic’s impact on New Hampshire’s youth.