One in six Utah children lives in poverty. Actually, it may be more than that. That number, presented in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count report, is from 2011. But the trend is not good. In 2008, it was only one in nine children. The 2011 number is the highest in at least a decade.
That by itself was enough to keep family-friendly Utah from breaking into Kids Count's top 10 states for children. (It finished 11th.) Utah used to be a perennial Top 10 finisher in this comparison, which looks at a variety of statistical data to draw conclusions about kid-friendliness. Utah traditionally has received higher marks for child health and stable families to overcome lower marks for education, where the state trails the national average in pre-school attendance and high school dropout rates.
But poverty, defined as a family of four earning less than $22,350 annually, has been dragging us down. This year's finish was actually an improvement from 2013's 14th place, but it's a big drop from 2009's third-place finish.