(AP) - Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana have fared poorly in a recent child well-being study.
The Kids Count report released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Indiana 31st, Kentucky 35th and Ohio 27th when it comes to child well-being.
The survey reports 624,000 Ohio children, or 23 percent, were living in poverty in 2010. That's a jump from 2005, when the survey showed 506,000 Ohio children, or 19 percent, were living in poverty. But the data found Ohio improved in several areas, including more children having health insurance and fewer teens abusing alcohol or drugs.
The report found 22 percent of Indiana children lived in poverty in 2010, up from 17 percent in 2005. Indiana Youth Institute President Bill Stanczykiewicz said the increase is connected to other factors in the report. He says the number of Indiana children living in single-parent homes has risen 17 percent and studies show those children are five to six times more likely to end up living in poverty.
The number of children in poverty in Kentucky rose 18 percent from 2005 to 2010. Kentucky Youth Advocates Director Terry Brooks urged lawmakers to take action, such as passing legislation that would benefit children. He suggested possibilities including a refundable state income earned tax credit, tightening laws that curb predatory lending and creating programs to address health issues.
Kentucky improved in many categories related to health and education.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation survey defines poverty as living in a household with incomes below $22,000 a year for a family of four.
To view the complete report, click here.