Every year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation publishes its Kids Count Data Book to provide an annual snapshot of how kids in different states are doing. This year’s edition, released last month, measures data from 2016 to 2020, and New Mexico’s low results — which don’t capture data from 2021 or 2022 — weren’t shocking to me at all.

Even as a teenager, the problems our state faces are extremely obvious, and ultimately, I think it has a lot to do with our economy and the resulting poverty.

New Mexico finished toward the bottom in almost all the four categories measured. We came in 48th place of all 50 states for economic well-being. We were ranked the worst state in education. Our best finish was 39th place in health. New Mexico also ranked 48th in family and community. Overall, New Mexico ranked the worst state in the country for child well-being, dropping a spot in the rankings from the previous year.

Ian Hernandez-Rojas is a senior at The MASTERS Program. Contact him at ianhernandezrocks@gmail.com.

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