2010/2011 NEW HAMPSHIRE KIDS COUNT DATA BOOK
Indicators Tell Compelling Story of New Hampshire's Children
(Concord, New Hampshire, Aug. 4, 2011) The 2010/2011 New Hampshire Kids Count Data Book, released today by Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, uses 33 unique indicators of child wellbeing to tell the story of New Hampshire's children. The report celebrates New Hampshire successes as well as illustrating its shortcomings, providing a roadmap for policy makers and advocates to use in their work.
Among the more notable findings was the dramatic rise in the need for supplementary food resources. The number of children participating in the food stamp program increased by 19 percent from 2008 to 2009, likely due to the lack of employment and the rising cost of food. In 2009, families with children comprised almost 45 percent of the 38,000 households receiving food stamp benefits. With the exception of Rockingham County which had less than a 10 percent use of food stamps, five counties saw 20 percent of families using food stamps, another four counties saw 20 to 25 percent use among families and one county exceeded thirty percent of families utilizing food stamps. An indicator with a more positive outcome was New Hampshire's child obesity rate. The Granite State's average obesity rate for two to five year old children is below the national average, varying from a low of 9.3 percent in Coos County to a high of 20.5 percent in Sullivan County.
The 2010/2011 New Hampshire Kids Count Data Book provides a statistical look at children from birth through young adulthood using data in five key areas: family and community, health and wellness, education, safety and wellbeing, and economic security. The report is also organized in an easy-to-use format highlighting both statewide and county data and allowing for county-by-county data comparisons.
"These statistics, the most recent available at the time of the report, are from the beginning of the recession; similar data for 2010 will likely show even greater impacts as the recession deepened. And, we know that with recent state and federal funding cuts, the safety net for low- and moderate-income families is unraveling just when the need is increasing," said Ellen Fineberg, Executive Director of the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire. "We are a state prosperous enough to provide equal opportunities to all young people, and to ensure that New Hampshire continues to be one of the best places in the country to live and raise children."
"This report serves as a critical tool for policy makers as we grapple with the many challenges facing our state's citizens," states U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. "...As a mother and grandmother, I appreciate the great resources our state offers families, but I am also keenly aware of the work that needs to be done." (Click here to read Senator Shaheen's full statement.)
Other significant statewide findings include:
In addition to hard-copy publication, Children's Alliance of New Hampshire also maintains an online database with these and other child indicators that is publicly accessible at www.ChildrenNH.org.
Funding for research for the 2010/2011 New Hampshire Kids Count Data Book was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of America, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Wellpoint, Public Service of New Hampshire, Davis Towle Morrill & Everett, Merrimack County Savings Bank, and Nobis Engineering.