SC ranks 45th in kids' ability to succeed

COLUMBIA, SC (AP/WMBF) - South Carolina ranks better than just five states in the overall wellbeing of its children.

That's according to a new Kids Count survey released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

South Carolina's overall ranking slipped two spots from last year's report, to 45th overall in children's ability to succeed.

The report ranked the economic well-being of the state's children at 44th in the country, a drop of nine spots from last year. Sue Williams of the Children's Trust of South Carolina attributed that indicator to high state unemployment, which at eight percent last month ranked 14th-highest in the nation.

There were some improvements, including in children's health. Only eight percent of the state's children listed as without health insurance in 2011, compared to 13 percent in 2008.

In the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, the percent of children testing that were not ready for first grade are well below other counties in the state. Nearly 50 percent of Jasper County children were not ready for first grade in 2008.

The percentage for Pee Dee and Grand Strand counties are below:

  • 22.1 percent in Darlington County
  • 21 percent in Dillon County
  • 19.2 percent in Florence County
  • 18.6 percent in Georgetown County
  • 22.4 percent in Horry County
  • 27.5 percent in Marion County
  • 19.9 percent in Marlboro County

Compared to the state as a whole, the percentage of children not ready for first grade was 20.8 percent.

For the percentages of eighth graders that were not still enrolled as high school seniors four years later, Horry County is the only county in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee that didn't exceed the South Carolina average of dropouts. The percentage of dropouts can be seen below:

  • 19 percent in South Carolina
  • 28.1 percent in Darlington County
  • 26.6 percent in Dillon County
  • 20.1 percent in Florence County
  • 31.3 percent in Georgetown County
  • 14.6 percent in Horry County
  • 28.6 percent in Marion County
  • 32.5 percent in Marlboro County

WMBF News Anchor Lauren Weppler will have more on this report on WMBF News at 5.

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Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this article.