Best states for underprivileged children

Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 11:12 p.m. MDT


Who classifies as "underprivileged" in America?

According to the personal finance website Wallet Hub, those deprived of basic necessities such food, love and care make up the forgotten of our society. "Such are fundamental rights, not privileges," they wrote in anticipation of International Youth Day, pointing out that many of America's children fail to receive the basic care they deserve.

"In the U.S., a baby is born into poverty every 32 seconds," wrote Wallet Hub's Richie Bernardo.

To shed more light on the issue of child poverty, Wallet Hub ranked each of the 50 states based on how well they care for their "underprivileged children."

According to their website, Wallet Hub took into consideration 16 metrics that they felt indicate the care needed to help children out of poverty. In our list, we've included their "economic well-being" rank, which took into account factors such as poverty rates and homeless rates, as well as their health and education rankings.

We've also included two data points found in the most recent census data: population and poverty rates.

Utah fared well in Wallet Hub's overall ranking, coming in within the top 10 of the best states for underprivileged children.

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Lehi, UT

I grew up in a similar situation as these kids. People cared then and they do now. Hooray for Utah!!!

Eureka, UT

I think it's interesting that the states above Utah on the list actually invest in education and health care for their children. I wonder what would happen in Utah if we actually did the same instead of pushing away Medicaid Expansion or being content with the lowest per student investment in education. We live in a great state with great people and get good results because of that but I think we could do so much better.

James E
Tooele, UT

Interesting...so we rank 25th in education and 29th in health, yet 1st in economic well-being. Something isn't matching. Either the assumption that education/health spending equals quality is erroneous or the economic ranking is incorrect. Looking at more objective results, like actual life-expectancy, Utah ranks 10th in health. Very fishy.

Fairview, UT

@Instereo- to answer your question what would happen in Utah if we invested in education like New Jersey or New Hampshire? We'd sacrifice our number 1 economic well-being ranking for a higher education ranking that is more likely a reflection of how much is spent rather than academic achievement.
Whenever I see reports such as this, I'm always questioning the premises and data behind the ranking numbers.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

It is interesting to note that the states at the top of the list are liberal states.

Casey See

In most studies, education is based upon dollars spent per pupil and some include test scores. Unfortunately, dollars spent per pupil is the wrong way to measure education. For example if it costs 50 million to build a 500 student elementary school in one state and 75 million in another for the same school with same equipment, the poll would say that the one state spending 75 million did a better job educating their students. The same for teacher salary and administration salaries.

The value to the student isn't the price tag, but the quality of the teaching which can only be partially measured by test scores. Even test scores are not a fool proof measure, because you also need to understand the background of the students such as home life, environments, ethic background and mixture, etc.

The long of this is that test scores alone make a better comparison, but even this isn't full proof. A single room school house with 8 children and one exceptional teacher can provide a better education than a state of the art school with burned out, highly paid teachers and administrators and classrooms full of students and parents that don't care.

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