Map of the Day: Best and Worst States for Underprivileged Children

WalletHub has struck again, compiling a basket of indicators measuring the well being of poor children, including such factors as the percentage in foster care, the percentage in single-parent families, the percentage in below-poverty households, the percentage that are malnourished, the percentage experiencing food insecurity and the percentage that are homeless. By these measures, Virginia ranked 10th best in the country.Among the notable metrics: Virginia has the lowest number of children in foster care of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and it has the third lowest number of maltreated children.

I would love to believe those figures are an accurate representation. However, recent scandals in the City of Richmond social services department suggest that the actual incidence of maltreatment may be under-reported and that the low number of foster children may be due to the incompetence of some social service agencies in placing children in foster homes. Richmond may be just one social services program, but it does cause one to question the numbers.


Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


2 responses to “Map of the Day: Best and Worst States for Underprivileged Children”

  1. in terms of reports f maltreatment and other stats, why would you think Richmond or Va would be any more or less apt to provide “bad” numbers or are you saying that because you suspect Va / Richmond are not good that other states may not either thus doubting the efficacy of the data in general?


    A lot of data and especially the stuff that has nice graphics and/or seems plausible or authoritative these days needs a trust but verify approach but especially data coming from organization that have a known agenda.

    do you know much about wallet hub, who runs it and/or if they are allied with any groups?

    they are synthesizing data from different sources which has become a particularly distorted way of “researching” by some groups with agendas these days and I’m increasingly suspicious when I see synthesized data without some collaborating evidence.

  2. Cville Resident Avatar
    Cville Resident

    This is why people like Peter and yourself are so important.

    There is no more disturbing trend in recent years than the idea that just running formulas based on demographic data is “journalism.” You get sites like WalletHub and Motowhateveritis.

    You bring up an excellent point about Richmond DSS. If an agency is leaving kids in dangerous homes and not placing them in foster care, in what universe is that a “good” thing for the kid?

    The old saw of “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” still rings true. Some stats are useful, some aren’t. But the worst stats of all are usually aggregate stats compiled without any analysis of what’s behind the metrics.

    Does the City of Roanoke have a high crime rate? From the people I know who live there, it’s probably a tad higher than you’d expect. But does it have the worst crime in Virginia? Absolutely not. Yet the Motosite “crunched the numbers” and came up with that absurdity.

    A big warning about Virginia and all of these sites…..Outside of St. Louis and Baltimore, Virginia has the only independent cities in America. These sites are national and use have all sorts of ways that they define other “cities.”

Leave a Reply