- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana ranked 48th in an annual national assessment of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.

The Kids Count report was released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization that had Louisiana ranked in the same spot in 2016. The two states that were rated lower also remained the same: New Mexico and Mississippi.

Louisiana improved on certain education, health and economic benchmarks, such as high school students graduating on time and children with parents who have secure employment - but still fell below national averages.

The percentage of children with health insurance improved to 96 percent, surpassing the national average. But the number of child and teen deaths worsened, and the percentage of children living in poverty edged up to 28 percent.

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