The results are in for the Florida Policy Institute’s 2022 Florida Child Well-Being Index, and Pasco County is ranked 25th out of the state’s 67 counties.
Hillsborough County ranked 18th.
Florida Policy Institute (FPI), which is the state’s KIDS COUNT partner, provides the index to measure performance across 16 indicators, in four major categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
Pasco ranked 23rd in economic well-being; 13th in education; 43rd in health; and 28th in family and community, according to the index.
The rankings for Hillsborough were: 12th in economic well-being; 28th in education; 13th in health; and 35th in family and community.
“These snapshots of Florida counties can help us pinpoint which areas of the state are in greatest need of resources,” Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI, said in a release from the organization.
FPI is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.
“Fostering strong public schools, bolstering the state’s safety net, and investing in a Working Floridians Tax Rebate to help boost income for Sunshine State families are all ways to reduce county-to-county child well-being disparities. We look forward to working with lawmakers to prioritize Florida children in the upcoming legislative session,” Knight added.
According to the index, St. Johns, Seminole and Broward were ranked highest overall for child well-being, while Hendry, DeSoto and Madison were ranked lowest.
However, Hendry, DeSoto and Madison did see improved graduation rates and fewer children living in poverty, the index shows.
“Counties with higher rankings are generally well-resourced places, where families can afford to invest in things like high-quality child care, education, and other opportunities for their children,” according to the FPI news release.
“Counties with lower rankings are regions that have borne the brunt of the state’s disinvestment in public services and where people face historic barriers to economic opportunity,” the release added.
“We want to recognize counties that are making the investment in their children and communities. The ultimate purpose of the Child Well-Being Index is to inspire all counties to ensure that children are able to grow and thrive,” Norín Dollard, PhD, senior policy analyst and KIDS COUNT director at FPI, said in the release.
The rankings were developed using KIDS COUNT data.
KIDS COUNT is a registered trademark of The Annie E. Casey Foundation in the United States and/or other countries and is used with permission of the Foundation.
Published January 04, 2023