Research

Indicators in Florida Education, Health, and Social Conditions

Is Florida really the worst in terms of child well being?

Worst to First’s indicators seek to answer that question by putting into perspective Florida’s investment in our children’s education, health, and social well being, compared to the investments of other states.

Take a look at our indicators.

HEALTH

Ranking on number of uninsured children
Florida ranks 49th. About 19 percent, or 763,000 of our children, do not have health insurance, versus a national average of 11 percent.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center

Immunization Coverage
Florida ranks 10th, with 82.4 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months
receiving complete immunizations.
Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008

Access to Prenatal Care
Florida ranks 47th in the percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in the first trimester, with 70 percent. More than 71,000 women in Florida do not get prenatal care in the first trimester.
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, VitalStats.

Infant mortality
Florida ranks 32nd in the number of infant deaths (before age 1) per 1,000 live births with a rate of 7.2, or more than 1,600 infant deaths annually.
Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008; Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org.

Low birth weight babies
Florida ranks 36th in the nation in the percent of low-birth weight babies, defined as babies weighing less than 5 ½ pounds at birth, 8.7 percent of all births, or nearly 21,000 babies a year.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book; Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org.

Teen birth rates
Florida ranks 30th, with a rate of 42 (births per 1,000 females ages 15-19), or more than 25,000 teen births annually.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, VitalStats.

EDUCATION

State spending on education as percentage of total resources
Florida ranks 42nd. As a state, Florida spends only 3.1% of its resources on education.
Source: Education Week, Quality Counts, 2009

State per capita spending on corrections vs. education
Florida ranks 50th in per capita spending on education, but ranks 16th in the nation in spending on corrections.
Source: NEA Rankings of the States 2008

High School Graduation Rates 
Florida ranks 43rd, with 60.8 percent of public high school students graduating with a diploma.
Source: Education Week, Quality Counts, 2009

Standardized Test Scores
Florida students rank 48th in the nation in average composite scores on the ACT, a standard college entrance exam.
Source: American Legislative Exchange Council, Report Card on American Education, 2008

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC

Children in Poverty
Florida ranks 31st in the percentage of persons under age 18 who live in households at or below the poverty threshold, with 17.9 percent. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,050 annual income.
Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008

Children in Single-Parent Families
Florida ranks 40th, with 35 percent.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book

Child Abuse Deaths
Florida ranks 41st, with 2.9 child abuse fatalities per 100,000.
Source: Every Child Matters Education Fund, “Geography Matters: Child Well Being in the States,” 2008

Teens not working and not attending school
Florida ranks 36th, with 9 percent.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book

Juvenile violent crime
Florida ranks 48th in the nation in juvenile incarceration rates, with a custody rate of 451.8 per 100,000 children ages 10 and up.
Source: Every Child Matters Education Fund, “Geography Matters: Child Well Being in the States,” 2008