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Tennessee Ranks 36th in KIDS COUNT Child Well-Being

Tennessee has something to celebrate in the 2012 KIDS COUNT National Data Book with its ranking of 36th in child well-being. Tennessee ranked better than most Southern states. Though the methodology changed this year, Casey reports very high statistical correlation of the rankings over time. Although the rankings are not comparable, Tennessee ranked 39th last year.

In its ongoing efforts to improve evaluation of child well-being, the Annie E. Casey KIDS COUNT project has changed the indicators on which the rank is based. Rankings on 16 indicators clustered in four domains – health, economic well-being, education, and family and community – are compiled to form the composite ranking. The new formula draws upon advances in research and increases the importance of education, family and community and focuses on health status rather than primarily mortality.

Tennessee’s ranking was lifted by its good showing on the health domain, where it ranked 16th. The state’s scores on the other domains clustered at 38th on economic well-being, 39th for family and community well-being, and 42nd on the education domain.

“Good public policies in Tennessee have contributed to Tennessee’s continually improved rankings,” said Linda O’Neal, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth executive director. “Investing in Tennessee’s children improves their opportunities to be safe, healthy, educated, supported and nurtured, and engaged in activities that help them succeed in school and become productive adults.”

More state-specific information about child well-being and the success of Tennessee programs to improve outcomes is available in the recently released KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee 2011, published by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, online at
Data from both the 22nd annual Data Book and the state book are also available from the expanded KIDS COUNT Data Center, which contains hundreds of measures of child well-being and allows users to create maps and graphs of the data at the national, state, county and city level. To access information for Tennessee, go to The Data Center has been enhanced by a new, user-friendly mobile site, accessible at

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent state agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. Partial funding for TCCY's KIDS COUNT program is provided through a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to disadvantaged children.

For more information, contact (615) 532-1571, access TCCY’s website at or follow and
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