Though Virginia Ranks High in New Quality of Life for Children Report, Child Poverty Still Up

Jun 21, 2016

A new report shows that while Virginia is making improvements for its children in education and health, other areas such as economic well-being continue to falter.

Credit Creative Commons/ann_jutatip

The 2016 Kids Count Profile, issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares states’ rankings based on quality of life for children, weighing the current year with 2008, during the recession. Despite Virginia’s eleventh place ranking, factors like child poverty continue to worsen.

"What's missing in that picture is that many children are actually living in poverty in Virginia. There is 16 percent of the kids overall. And that number continues to increase."

That’s Emily Griffey, policy director for Voices for Virginia’s Children, a state advocacy group that contributed to the report.

"There are 26 localities where there is at least twice the number of kids, a percent of kids in poverty than the state average, and one of those is Roanoke City, where a third of kids are living in poverty compared to the 16 percent at the state level - 33 percent in Roanoke City."

Also among the data, the child poverty rate in Buchanan county and Richmond is 35 and 39 percent, respectively. On-time high school graduation is up, and the rate of children without health insurance is down to six percent.

You can read the full report here.