- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - An annual data report says Illinois ranks 19th in the nation when it comes to the well-being of children.

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation measures areas including family and community, health, education and economic factors.

Overall, experts say there have been areas of progress, including family higher wages and a record number of children with health insurance. However, child poverty rates remain high and racial and ethnic disparities persist.

The report, which examines 2015 figures, says over 550,000 Illinois children live in high-poverty areas and 43,000 Illinois teens are not in school and not working.

Advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children helped put the report together and says that the state’s nearly three-year budget impasse will undermine its own progress.

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