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Maine is 11th on healthy kids list


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Maine is 11th on healthy kids list

Maine is 11th on healthy kids list

Maine gained ground in some measurements of children's well-being but slipped in other areas as the state ended up with a No. 11 ranking among the 50 states in an annual survey by a charitable foundation released Tuesday. As the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count report was released, Maine first lady Karen Baldacci announced steps to address one of the issues raised in the report: school dropouts.

Among the 10 indicators in the Maine report, three improved during the 2000-2004 study period, four had setbacks and three remained unchanged.

Maine's teen death rate dropped from 63 to 53 deaths per 100,000 teens ages 15 to 19, while the rate of births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 declined from 29 to 25.

Another improvement was in the percentage of children with parents who are not working full time, which declined from 34 to 32 percent.

However, children's advocates were concerned about a rise in the number of "idle teens" - those who are neither working nor in school - in the latest report. Maine had the lowest number in 2000, 4 percent, but that increased in 2004 to 7 percent, still two percentage points lower than the national average.

"The good news is that state officials are aware of the problem, and have already begun efforts to reach out to these young people," said Elinor Goldberg, president of the Maine Children's Alliance.

Post Wed 28 Jun, 2006 8:15 am 
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