In preparation for Every Kid Healthy Week, which kicks off on April 22, WalletHub has released findings from a recent report on 2019’s Best and Worst States for Children's Health Care.
In preparation for Every Kid Healthy Week, which kicks off on April 22, WalletHub has released findings from a recent report on 2019’s Best and Worst States for Children’s Health Care.
Raising a child in the United States can be costly—nearly $235,000, in fact—and healthcare expenses can contribute to much of the total costs. The report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) across more than 30 indicators of cost, quality, and access to children’s healthcare.
The data set included share of children aged 0 to 17 in excellent or very good health, pediatricians and family doctors per capita, infant death rate, cost of doctor’s visit, healthy food access, fast food restaurants per capita, and determinants for oral health.
Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best healthcare for children. The researchers then determined each state and DC’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall scores and used the final number to rank the findings.
1. Vermont, 73.40
2. DC, 64.09
3. Massachusetts, 61.98
4. Connecticut, 61.84
5. New York, 60.15
Overall, the top 5 best states for children’s healthcare included the following:
47. Arkansas, 40.41
48. Mississippi, 37.80
49. Texas, 37.02
50. Louisiana, 35.86
51. Nevada, 35.60
Conversely, the top 5 worst states for children’s healthcare were:
The findings showed that Massachusetts had the lowest share of uninsured children aged 0 to 19 (1.40%), which is 7.9 times lower than in Texas, which had the highest share of uninsured children (11%). Additionally, Minnesota had the lowest share of obese children aged 10 to 17 (7.60%), which is 3.4 times lower than the highest, Mississippi (26%).
Importantly, some of the lowest infant death rates in the country were found in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California, while the highest infant death rates were in Delaware, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Researchers also evaluated each state to determine the oral health of children. This was found by rating each individual state on the following: the share of children aged 1 to 17 with excellent or very good teeth, the share of children aged 0 to 17 lacking access to fluoridated water, the presence of a state oral health plan, dental treatment costs, and dentists per capita, among other factors.
Considering these factors, the report noted that New Hampshire, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and Iowa had the highest percentage of children with excellent or very good teeth, while Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri, and Mississippi had the lowest percentage.