SALINA JOURNAL: County stats on child health, education and economic indicators

Harold Campbell
October 31, 2016

Saline County statistics showed a mix of positive and negative, compared to the state average, in several economic, education and health indicators for children, according to a report released last week by the Kansas Action for Children organization.

Figures from 2014 showed 18.61 percent of Saline County residents younger than 18 lived below the federal poverty threshold, compared to 17.65 percent statewide; 58.61 percent of Saline County children received free or reduced-price lunches during the 2015-2016 school year, compared to 49.27 percent statewide; and 15.82 percent of live births in Saline County in 2014 were to mothers with less than a high school graduation, compared to 13.19 percent statewide.

The figures also showed 88.98 percent of Saline County high school seniors graduated in the 2014-2015 school year, compared to 87.2 percent statewide, and 81.13 of Saline County students read at grade level or above in the 2014-2015 school year, compared to 79.62 percent statewide.

Health indicators showed 81 percent of Saline County kindergarteners in the 2014-2015 school year had been vaccinated, compared to 79 percent statewide, while 5.78 percent of Saline County children had no health insurance coverage in 2014, compared to 5.64 percent statewide.

Saline County ranked below the state average in two health-related matters: The Saline County infant mortality rate in 2015 stood at 1.37 per 10,000 live births, compared to 5.88 statewide, and the rate of Saline County teens who died from suicide, homicide or motor vehicle accidents in 2014 stood at 26.02 per 100,000, compared to 29.43 per 100,000 statewide.

The state report comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual summer release of a national KIDS COUNT Databook. Kansas Action for Children follows up that report each year with a statewide report analyzing child trends at the Kansas county level each fall with the most recent figures available. In most cases, those figures were from 2014.

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