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Minn., N.D. earn high marks for child well-being

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Minnesota ranks fourth nationally in overall child well-being, with North Dakota just two slots behind at sixth, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2013 Kids Count Data Book.

In addition to overall national rankings, the annual assessment rates each state in four categories: economic well-being, family and community, education, and health.

Minnesota maintained its decade-long streak of landing in the top five for overall child well-being, ranking high in the categories of family and community, economic well-being and education. As for health, Minnesota ranks 15th, most notably indicated by about 80,000 children living without health insurance.

North Dakota ranks first in economic well-being, with the state having the smallest proportion of children with parents lacking secure employment.

But North Dakota fell behind in education and health, where it ranks 16th and 25th, respectively.

The data show that nearly two-thirds of fourth-graders lack proficiency in reading and over half of eighth-graders lack proficiency in math.

Also, the child death rate in North Dakota ranks 41st in the U.S. and the percentage of babies born with low birth weight increased from 6.4 percent in 2005 to 6.7 percent in 2010.

For the full list of state rankings and data, visit

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