January 31, 2011

Oklahoma Ranks 44th in Child Well-Being

Key Findings: 
Oklahoma ranks among bottom 10 states on four of 10 indicators.
Nationally, Oklahoma ranked 47th in the child death rate; 45th in both the infant mortality rate and the teen birth rate; and 43rd in the percentage of children in poverty.

Recent increase brings infant mortality to 2000 level.
Between 2006 and 2007, the infant mortality rate in Oklahoma rose 6 percent to 8.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births—returning to the same level as in 2000. There were 469 infant deaths in the state in 2007.

Child poverty rises steadily since 2000.
In 2008, 23 percent of Oklahoma’s children lived in poverty—up from 19 percent in 2000 and 22 percent in 2007. The state’s child poverty rate is well above the national rate of 18 percent. (A family of two adults and two children were considered poor if their income in 2008 fell below $21,834.)

Significant drop in share of teens not in school and not high school graduates.
The percentage of Oklahoma teens ages 16-19 who were not enrolled in school and were not high school graduates has fallen significantly, from 14 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2008.

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