One of the first blog posts we wrote was on last year’s Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count data book. The 2019 version has just been released ( and, just like last year, it paints a mixed picture for California’s children. The state has made essentially no progress – moving from 36th to 35th overall – and ranking 46th for economic well-being, 36th for education, 41st for family and community and, more positively, 7th for health. While this shouldn’t be a surprise, it would be hard for a state as large as California to make great strides in a year, it remains a disappointment. Across the 16 indicators in the four categories, the state has made improvements in 12 and has regressed in only one – with a slight increase in the number of low birth weight babies (although the state performs dramatically better than the national average on this measure).  However, the state continues to have more than 1.6 million children living in poverty, more than 500,000 three- and four-year old children who do not attend a formal preschool program, and above average rates of 4th graders not reading proficiently, 8th graders not proficient in math, and high schoolers not graduating on time. It continues to have the highest rate of children living in households with a high housing cost burden in the country, affecting more than 3.9 million children, and above average rates of parents without secure employment and heads of households who lack a high school diploma.  The California data profile is available at