New Kids Count data released

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2013

Covington County is once again in the middle of the pack when it comes to the welfare of local children, according to statistics released this week by the advocacy group, VOICES for Alabama’s Children.

The annual Kids Count numbers show Covington County at 39th out of 67 counties in the state, landing it squarely in the middle third of the group, but up two spots from last year’s 41st ranking.

The numbers show 27.6 percent of children are living in poverty, a slight increase from 27.4 percent last year.

The numbers also show 34 percent of Covington County children living in a single-parent home, a factor Kids Count uses in its vulnerable families index, where Covington County ranks 46th in the state.

“Despite the Great Recession and other challenges, Alabama is making progress for its children,” said Linda Tilly, executive director of VOICES for Alabama’s Children. “Over the past 20 years, data has given both advocates and policymakers a true picture of how our children are doing, and where we need to make improvements if Alabama is to be all that it can be in the future.”

Covington County also ranks low in births to unmarried teens, at 11.9 percent, ranking the county 61st in the state.

Covington County ranks 45th in infant mortality rate, up significantly from 30th in 2012. The County ranks 30th in low birth weights, down from 34th last year.

The county’s first-grade retention rate is at 4.4 percent, up from 3.8 percent last year, giving it a rank of 42nd.

Graduation rates are up from 71.8 percent last year to 75.2 percent in 2013.