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October 25, 2017

Report: Pa. ranks near worst in U.S. for well-being of minority children

Minority children and those in immigrant families are at more of a disadvantage in Pennsylvania than in nearly every other state in the country, a new report found.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's study, "Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children," gave Pennsylvania a No. 48 ranking out of 49 states when it came to opportunities for its young Latino population.

It also found that Pennsylvania's African-American children also face considerable barriers here relative to other states, ranking the state at 32nd in that category.

Primarily using data from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau, the foundation measured how children in each state are faring in terms of education, health and financial stability.

Among Pennsylvania's fourth-graders, for instance, 18 percent of Latino children and 17 percent of American-Americans scored at or above proficient in reading. Further, the report found that 73 percent of Latino children live with at least one family member with a high school diploma, compared to 90 percent of all other children in the state.

"Pennsylvania and the nation have some work to do to get all kids on a path to success and ensure all children live in economically successful families, reside in supportive communities and meet developmental, health and educational milestones," Joan Benso, president and CEO of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said in a statement. "The data in this report can help Pennsylvania create policies and programs that benefit all children, and help identify areas where targeted strategies and investments are needed."

New Jersey, though, ranked first in terms of well-being for its young Asian and Pacific Islander population, as well as in the top 10 for African-American children.

The report was the first "Race for Results" study since 2014.

The full report can be found here

The foundation also explained its scored-based ranking system here, and also provided a news release that looks at the findings from a national perspective.