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A new national study has ranked Ohio 27th in the nation when it comes to child well-being and found that the number of children living in poverty in the state increased by 4 percentage points amid the recession.

The annual Kids Count survey, published Wednesday, found that 624,000 Ohio children, or 23 percent, were living in poverty in 2010. The national figure was 22 percent in 2010, the most recent figures available.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation survey defines poverty as living in a household with incomes below $22,000 a year for a family of four.

In 2005, the survey reports that 506,000 Ohio children, or 19 percent, were living in poverty.

In overall well-being, Ohio ranked in the middle of the pack among states at No. 27. New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont were ranked highest in the country, while Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi had the lowest marks.

Laura Speer, associate director for policy, reform and data at the foundation, said that for the most part, Ohio followed national trends.

“Ohio’s a good measure of what’s going on in the country overall,” Speer said. “This is evidence of the recession’s impact on kids and how important it is that when decisions are made about how to deal with the impacts of the recession, kids and families are taken into consideration. It’s not just about business’s bottom line.”

The survey also found that the number of children living in high-poverty areas in Ohio nearly doubled, increasing by 5 percentage points to 12 percent, or 324,000 children.

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article courtesy of Newsnet5.com

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