CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire continues to be the top state in a national survey of children’s well-being, according to a report released Wednesday.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kid’s Count Data Book showed that the state improved in child education and health based mostly on 2010 data.
Massachusetts was the second best state, followed by Vermont.
But the data showed an increase in New Hampshire children living in high poverty areas and in single parent families. A more troubling finding, children advocates said, is a 19 percent jump from 2008 to 2010 in the rate of children with parents who did not have secure employment in the wake of the recession.
"We remain concerned about the economic security of our children, with a rise in the poverty rate, and the percent whose parents lack secure employment," said Ellen Fineberg, executive director of The Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire.
In education, the percentage of eighth graders proficient in math rose, but was still under 50 percent.
Teens who abuse alcohol or drugs dropped by 10 percent while teen births fell by 11 percent.
New Hampshire has had the highest score in the country, based on different indicators, in the last 10 of 11 years.
This year’s research was based on 16 indicators.
The survey showed more Vermont more children are living in poverty as well.
In 2010, 17 percent of Vermont’s
"This data emphasizes that the recession continues to take a toll on Vermont children and families," said Carlen Finn, executive director of Voices for Vermont’s Children. "Despite our high ranking among states, far too many families are struggling to make ends meet."
But Vermont showed progress in the percentage of children without health insurance -- which dropped from 4 percent in 2008 to 2 percent in 2010. The state also saw an increase in the rate of high school students graduating on time.
"These positive trends illustrate we have a lot to be proud of," said Melissa Christie, research associate of Voices for Vermont’s Children. "Vermont’s commitment to health and education has improved outcomes for kids."