According to a new Kids Count survey, Iowa is the 6th best place to raise kids in America. Here’s the story:

Iowa Ranks 6th in Latest National Kids Count Child Well-Being Report

Iowa ranks 6th nationally in the 2010 national Kids Count report on child well-being. The 21st annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares and ranks the fifty states on ten health, education, welfare and economic indicators of child well-being.

Iowa ranks first in the nation on two indicators, the high school dropout rate (3%) and the percent of teens not attending school and not working (4%). Iowa also showed improvement since 2000 on four other indicators. The teen death rate, infant mortality rate and child death rate all have experienced significant improvement since 2000 decreasing 27 percent, 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Iowa also showed slight improvement in the teen birth rate.

Iowa did experience a significant deterioration in the low birthweight rate, which has increased 12 percent since 2000, in addition to moderate deteriorations in the single parent family and child poverty rates.

“Iowa’s overall ranking is indicative of the emphasis the state puts on providing for its children and families, and Iowans should be proud of that,” said Michael Crawford, Iowa Kids Count Director with the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines, Iowa. “However, there are a few areas such as babies born at low birthweight, single parent families and child poverty that have worsened the past few years, and do need further emphasis.”

The 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book annually is produced and disseminated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland. Iowa Kids Count also produces a Kids Count Data Book annually providing county, substate, state and national data.