Arizona ranks fifth worst overall for conditions for children and families, according to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The economic recession has taken a terrible toll on children: conditions worsened in seven of the 16 indicators in Arizona since 2005. Despite the tough economic times, Arizona showed improvement in several key areas, including the teen birthrate and the child death rate.

The 2012 Data Book has been updated with a new index that reflects advances in research about child development and provides the most recent data available across the country for a comprehensive portrait of how American children are faring. It assesses states based on data for 16 indicators in four equally weighted domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Arizona ranks 36th in the Health domain and 46th in the other three domains and overall.

The states ranking below Arizona overall include Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi. The top five states are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey and Minnesota.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book with state-by-state rankings and supplemental data will be available on July 25 at

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