The latest trends on seven out of ten national indicators stayed steady or showed improvement, according to the latest edition of the KIDS COUNT in Delaware Fact Book.
Among the biggest improvements is the decline in the number of low birth weight babies born in Delaware for the third year in a row. The percentage of babies born with a low birth weight in Delaware is now down to nine percent, the same rate it was in the mid-1980s. The state’s infant mortality rate is also on the decline, down to 8.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.
While the state’s low birth weight rate and infant mortality rate are still higher than the national average, the numbers are moving in the right direction. But not all areas are improving.
The economic downturn has increased the number of Delaware children living in poverty, which now stands at 16.9 percent. There’s also been an increase in the number of children enrolled in the Free and Reduced School Lunch Program. For the 2010-2011 school year, 49 percent of all students in Delaware were in the program, an all-time high.
The KIDS COUNT report is in its 17th year of monitoring the health and well-being of children and families in the First State.