Every year, data is compiled to give Wyoming residents a snapshot of the health and welfare of the state’s children. The latest report, called Wyoming Kids Count released earlier this week, shows that there are actually fewer children.
The new report indicates that the lower numbers might be attributed, in part, to the state’s infant mortality, child teen and teen death rates, which are all higher than the national average. But Kids Count director, Marc Homer, says it’s more likely that the state just isn’t that attractive to families with kids. This is something Homer says needs to be kept in mind as state legislators look at scaling back child health and education programs because of slower state revenues.
Homer says making Wyoming more family-friendly is also good for business.
There is good news to report – sort of. The number of children living in poverty in Wyoming is below the national rate, which Homer attributes to the oil and gas industry. However, those aren’t all high-paying jobs, and Homer says one-third of the state’s children live in what are categorized as “low-income” families that make just enough to stay above the poverty line.