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Baltimore, MD — An annual report on child welfare says more U.S. children are living in poverty than before the Great Recession.

The report from by the Annie E. Casey Foundation child advocacy group says 22 percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008. Poverty rates were nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians, and were most severe in the South and Southwest.

Minnesota was given the best overall ranking of all states.

Here is more information from the Foundation:

In 2013, one in four children, 18.7 million, lived in a low-income working family in the United States. Nearly a third of children are living in families where no parent has full-time employment. And even when parents are working full time, wages and benefits are often not sufficient to adequately support a family.

The 2015 Data Book, which focuses on key trends in child well-being in the post-recession years, measures child well-being in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The Casey Foundation report finds that the rising tide of recovery, with both increased employment and more concentrated wealth, has left stagnant pockets of low-income, struggling communities and families, where a child’s future is anchored in scarcity and hardship.

For the first time in a nearly a decade, a non-New England state ranks number one for overall child well-being. Minnesota holds the top spot, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Vermont. Arizona, Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi rank lowest. Other state highlights:

  • While three New England states rank within the top five for overall well-being among the 50 states, the top five states in the area of economic well-being are in the heartland and Plain States regions — North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

  • The biggest improvements in overall rankings compared to last year’s Data Book are seen in Alaska, Minnesota, Wyoming, South Carolina and Missouri. The biggest drops in overall rankings are seen in West Virginia, Indiana, Rhode Island, Virginia, Arkansas and Vermont.

  • Southeast, Southwest and Appalachian states have the lowest income and are at the bottom of the overall rankings. With the exception of California, the 15 lowest-ranked states were in these regions.