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Report: Kentucky Families Making Modest Progress Prior To Pandemic


A nationwide report tracking family economic and financial health in all 50 states shows Kentucky was making “measurable, though slow” progress in key areas between 2010 and 2019, but it’s not yet clear how the pandemic has affected those numbers.

The 2021 Kids Count Databook, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, presents a partial picture of how kids and families in the commonwealth were faring in the time leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Data show the state making headway on family economic well-being measures and child health coverage, while falling short in other areas – including curbing youth obesity and getting 3- and 4-year-olds into early childhood programs.

But Kentucky’s slow but steady advances were put in jeopardy by the pandemic, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates executive director Dr. Terry Brooks.

Related survey data do give a glimpse into 2020, when 1 in 5 of Kentucky adults with children reported little to no confidence they could pay their rent or mortgage payment. That number has since dropped by 5 percent. Food insecurity touched roughly 15 percent of Kentucky households with children in 2020, with Black and minority families among those hit the hardest. 

Read the full report.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.