Broward News

Florida Is the Seventh Worst State for Underprivileged Children, According to New Study

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, Florida's poor or underprivileged children make up about 24 percent of the 3,894,496 children living in the state. Nationally, it's 22 percent. And now, via a new study released by WalletHub, the numbers look even more dire for underprivileged children living in Florida.

The study points to a UNICEF report that says the U.S. has the second highest rate of relative child poverty among economically developed countries, and that Florida ranks among the worst in the nation when it comes to children living in poverty.

Specifically, WalletHub looked into what they call "15 key metrics," which range from infant death rates to child food-insecurity rates, to the percentage of maltreated children, and ranked each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. accordingly.

Florida, it turns out, is the seventh worst state for underprivileged children.

"By bringing such key issues to the forefront, WalletHub aims to engender change and galvanize groups to act on behalf of society’s future propellers of progress." WalletHub spokesperson Diana Popa says. 

Across the board, Florida ranked poorly through most of the metrics used in the study. According to WalletHub, the Sunshine State ranks 37th in the percentage of children living in households with below-poverty income, 35th in the percentage of maltreated children, and a whopping 47th in the percentage of kids without health insurance.

Florida also scored poorly in infant death rates (per 1,000 births). The state barely broke the top 20 in any category, coming in 17th in percentage of children living in foster care.

Delving further into the numbers, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 40 percent of poor children come from black families, while 30 percent come from Hispanic families. Twenty percent come from Native American families. Fifteen percent of poor children in Florida come from white families, and 12 percent from Asian families. 

In putting together their study, WalletHub started at three key areas, including early foundation and economic well-being, health and education. The data was then compiled into the 15 metrics.

The data was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Administration for Children and Families, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Center for Educational Statistics, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Equality of Opportunity Project, the Kids Count - Anney E. Casey Foundation, and Feeding America.