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Mississippi shows improvement in annual child well-being rankings

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An annual report shows Mississippi improving its rating in child well-being to 48th, as more parents found jobs, housing costs fell, high school graduation rates improved, and students scored better on tests.

The Kids Count analysis released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation focuses on economic, education, health, family and community trends for children over a roughly six-year period ending in 2016.

It’s the first time in 25 years that Mississippi hasn’t been 49th or 50th in the annual report on child well-being. The state finished ahead of Louisiana and New Mexico this year.

Mississippi still struggles with 30 percent of children living in poverty and more than a quarter living in neighborhoods surrounded by other poor people. The state also has a high share of single-parent families.