"This is a very important finding in the economic context in which we are now living," Takanishi said. "At at time when many of the basic essential services to children, particularly in health and education, are being reduced because of economic circumstances, it's important to note there is a relationship between state investments in children and their overall well-being."
Terry Haven, who conducts similar research on child well-being for the nonprofit Voices for Utah Children, said the study was a call to action.
"It's important to look at data to see how kids are doing so we know where to put our money," she said. "As we head toward another tough budget year we ought to be talking about children and families and what they need."
Royce Van Tassell, vice president of the Utah Taxpayer's Association concluded the opposite.
"What this study says about Utah is, first and foremost, that it is possible to have a good educational system and provide an environment that foster's child well-being without breaking the bank," he said. "We have more kids than any other state in the nation, but, at the same time, we are very tax payer friendly."
State rankings on child well-being
1) New Jersey
3) New Hampshire
50) New Mexico
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