Despite Improvements, Report Says 110,000 Children in Iowa Live in Poverty

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DES MOINES, Iowa — While Iowa children are showing improvement in health and education, a report released Thursday shows that there is room for improvement.

Data released by the Child and Family Policy Center shows that 110,000 children across the state live in poverty. That’s roughly two times the population of West Des Moines.

The organization’s annual Kids Count report documents 20 indicators of child well-being at state and county levels. Michael Crawford, CFPC senior associate, assembled and analyzed the data.

“While the health of Iowa children has shown significant improvement the last decade and a half, the economic well-being of Iowa’s families and children has not fared so well,” Crawford said.

Although Iowa meets or exceeds the U.S. average, the report shows various areas of needed improvement including:

  • 2,000 3- and 4-year-olds are not attending preschool, which is more than the population of Urbandale (40,227).
  • 7,751 fourth graders were not proficient in reading, which is nearly the population of Creston (7,847).

The report also found that teen birth rates have decreased more than 42 percent and the mortality indicators for infants, children and teens have decreased between 21 and 24 percent since 2000.

The report also covered family and community economic well-being, school readiness and success, family stability and child health.

Click here to view the entire report.