Thursday, September 13, 2007


by Dan Walters – Sacramento Bee/Capitol Alert

Friday, June 22, 2007 — Here's a big surprise: children in Marin County, the state's wealthiest with a median family income well above $100,000, fare the best in terms of poverty, education, health care and other measures of kids' well-being.

Equally predictable: Children in rural counties where median family incomes are around $30,000 fare the worst.

The county-by-county rankings are contained in a new report from Oakland-based Children Now, the latest in a series of studies and reports from the organization which campaigns for improving education, health care and other services to children.

Marin has the state's lowest level of children in low-income families, just 16 percent, while the statewide average is 43 percent and remote Siskiyou County, on the state's northern border, has the highest rate of 65 percent. Siskiyou, not surprisingly, is tied for the state's lowest level of median income at $30,356, according to Children Now calculations.

On every other measure, Marin ranks at or near the top, such as in the percentage of young children enrolled in preschool or nursery school; it's 74 percent while Tulare brings up the rear at 23 percent.

Marin, at 98 percent, plays second fiddle to San Francisco (100 percent) in the proportion of its children with health insurance, but the statewide average is 93 percent, thanks to "Healthy Families" and other government programs that provide health care to children, and even the lowest-ranked county, Shasta, has 83 percent of its children with health insurance of some kind.

Children Now's latest study on children's well-being is available here.

No comments: