Newsroom > DHHS News Release


June 12, 2008

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287,


Kids Count Report Shows Nebraska is 9 th Best in Nation

Note: Sound bites from Christine Peterson, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services, are available at:

Lincoln –Nebraska ranks 9 th overall in the nation in a state-by-state study of the well-being of children, according to the national 2008 Kids Count Data Book released today.

"Nebraska is ranked ninth in the nation and is doing a good job of caring for children and families, and we are extremely proud of being in the top 10 in the nation in five of the key indicators," said Christine Peterson, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). "We’ve moved up in the ranking of child well-being and improved in four specific areas."

Nebraska ranks in the top 10 in the nation for these five key indicators:

  • #3 for the rate of securely employed parents;
  • #4 for the lowest percentage of children in single-parent families;
  • #9 for the rate of infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births)
  • #9 for the percentage of idle teens (not attending school, not working, ages 16-19); and
  • #10 for the high school dropout rate. (ages 16-19)

Nebraska has shown a consistently positive performance over the years, and has been ranked as one of the top 13 states overall since 1999 on these same indicators. Nebraska rankings on the other five indicators in the report range from 13 th to 27 th in the nation.

"It’s good to see this validation of work around the safety, well-being and permanency of children. This progress has been made possible through our collaboration with judges, providers and law enforcement," Peterson said. "I especially want to thank our DHHS staff for their dedication to the well-being of children and families."