PHOENIX — Arizona is close to the worst place in the country to be a child in need, according to a new report.
The financial website WalletHub studied factors ranging from child mistreatment to lack of insurance. And when everything was factored together, the report found only Mississippi and Washington, D.C., scored lower.
Dana Naimark, executive director of the Children’s Action Alliance, said Monday’s report parallels the latest numbers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which annually evaluates childhood wellbeing on a state-by state.
“None of these rankings are a surprise,” she said. “I wish I could say they were.”
Naimark said many of the findings, including reports of abuse and neglect as well as children in foster care, are linked to poverty. Until those issues are addressed, she said, Arizona will continue to fare poorly.
WalletHub reports that nearly 27 percent of children live in households below the poverty level, ranking Arizona No. 44 in the nation, with No. 1 being the best. The state’s “food-insecurity” ranking is 28 percent, 46th in the nation.