By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - More New Mexico children now have health insurance and fewer teens are abusing alcohol and drugs, but there has been little improvement when it comes to measuring the economic well-being of families.

The Albuquerque-based advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children released its annual Kids Count Data Book on Tuesday as the Legislature embarked on a 60-day session.

The group says more children are living in high-poverty areas and living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment. Kid Count director Amber Wallin says that’s troubling because such situations can affect other areas of child well-being.

The report ranks New Mexico 49th among states for child well-being.

The data shows about 29 percent children live in poverty, marking the second-worst percentage in the nation. About 22,000 more kids now live in poverty than did in 2008.

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