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Annual Report Provides An In-Depth Look at Youngest Tennesseans

Creating a state, community or neighborhood where children thrive requires a wide-ranging assessment of outcomes from birth and maternal health into adulthood, education and career readiness.
The State of the Child 2023 in Tennessee, an annual report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, aims to provide that assessment.
The report provides a comprehensive review of available data on child well-being in economics, child care and early education, education, health, mental health, the child opportunity index, child welfare and youth justice.
Children are safer, healthier and better supported in their development when are caregivers supported and can meet basic needs of food, shelter, and health services for children.
In 2022, 17.6 percent of children in Tennessee lived below the federal poverty line.
This was the closest the state has been to the national poverty line which was 16.3 percent.
After a significant drop in under-5 poverty between 2020 and 2021, Tennessee’s under-5 poverty rate increased to one in five. Though an increase from the year prior, it is still lower than previous years.
In 2021, food insecurity among Tennessee’s children varied widely depending upon the county in which the child resided, from 0.0 percent in Williamson County to 26.3 percent in Haywood County.
Programs such as the Community Eligibility Provision can help provide free school meals to all children. In 2022-23, 91 percent of schools eligible for this program participated. In that same school year, 270 schools had a school produce garden.
Tennessee families report struggling to meet household finance needs, with approximately 40 percent of households stating it was somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses in the last week.
Though families are experiencing this increased financial burden, the weekly wage in Tennessee between 2019 and 2023increased by 27 percent or $268 per week.
Tennessee rental households with children report facing significant challenges. One in six are behind on their rent and one in three reported they reduced or forwent basic needs to pay an energy bill.
TennCare continues to insure more than half …………….


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