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Report: Indiana children’s overall health getting worse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An annual report says the overall health and well-being of children in Indiana has gotten worse in the last year.

The report looks at dozens of factors and surveys children in every state. It was released at midnight on Tuesday and is called Kids Count.

The report says when it comes to the overall well-being of children, Indiana ranks 32nd out of 50 states, dropping five spots since last year.

The Kids Count data book says one in five children in Indiana are living in poverty. Twelve percent of children live in “high poverty” areas. That’s up 8 percent from the height of the recession in 2008.

The head of the Indiana Youth Institute, Glenn Augustine, says these findings can be a little deceptive.

“Once a recession hits, poverty is one of the indicators that lags behind,” said Augustine. “Even though when you start to see job growth or economic numbers turned around, poverty is something that lags behind because people who may have been put into poverty during a recession take a little time to dig out.”

As for education, Kids Count found that 61 percent of Indiana kids over the last few years did not attend preschool. That’s higher than the national average of 54 percent.

The issue has been something the state and city of Indianapolis have been working on with new pilot programs.

For a look at the full report click here.