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Here's where your Florida county ranks when it comes to child health and education

Children in a classroom

The 2022 Florida Child Well-Being Index ranks the 67 Florida counties based on data from the national Kids Count project. It compares child well-being on 16 indicators in the areas of Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.

A new report from the Florida Policy Institute shows the state has not made much progress when it comes to improving outcomes for children's health and education.

The 2022 Florida Child Well-Being Index, which ranks the 67 counties based on data from the national Kids Count project, said St. John's County was best, and Madison County was worst.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, Sarasota County came in highest at 17, with DeSoto County the lowest at 66.

See a map of the county-by-county rankings here.

Norin Dollard with the Florida Policy Institute said where counties placed is not an accident -- supporting programs make a difference.

"The counties that have better rankings, they tend to be better resourced. And there's investments in childcare and education and other things that enable children to thrive."

Dollard said counties with lower rankings tend to either have 'dis-invested' in kids, or they just don't invest to the same degree as other counties.

"We need the kind of policies that support our safety nets, so they contribute to kids having healthy meals, to have stable housing, and income assistance where that's needed."

On a statewide basis, Florida was in the lower half nationwide, coming in at 35th for the third straight year.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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