LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A recent study showed Arkansas as one of the worst state for its amount of underprivileged children.
The study by consumer finance site WalletHub ranked Arkansas as sixth out of 50 states and the District of Columbia as having the most underprivileged children. The study ran through 26 key indicators of neediness, ranging from the share of children in households with below-poverty income to the child food-insecurity rate to the share of maltreated children.
Findings were then grouped into categories under socio-economic welfare, health and education to score for an overall ranking.
Arkansas scored especially low in the health category, ranking second behind Mississippi. That category measured such things as the rate of maltreated children, amount of food insecurity among children and infant mortality rate.
Socio-economic welfare had the Natural State fourth out of 51. Factors here included share of children in foster care, unaccompanied homeless children and youth and share of children living in extreme poverty.
Education, however, garnered a better-than-average ranking for the state with a score of 34. Factors here included high school graduation rates, state spending per pre-school child and quality of public school systems.
Notable factors for Arkansas were its being tied in third with Oklahoma for child food insecurity, and second behind Mississippi in infant mortality rate.
At issue is not the ranking, but the overall impact the scores represent.
The study’s authors used Children’s Defense Fund studies to point out that nationally, nearly 1 in 6 children live in poverty and a child is abused or neglected every 48 seconds. In addition, one year of all confirmed cases of child maltreatment leads to $124 billion in costs over those children’s lifetimes.