Household incomes for Washington’s poorest families have yet to recover from the 2008 recession, according to the national 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.
Washington is ranked 15th among the 50 states (PDF) in the Data Book this year; that’s four places higher than last year, when it was ranked 19th.
Since 2008, the number of children growing up without health coverage has improved by 38 percent. That’s good news, as coverage is all but essential for kids to see a health professional or get medicine when they’re sick. Credit is due to the state’s Cover All Kids law, which passed in 2007 and created affordable health coverage called Apple Health for Kids. The Affordable Care Act’s 2014 creation of a flexible market for individual plans has also propelled child coverage in Washington to one of the nation’s highest.
Yet the child poverty rate is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in 2008, with an additional 59,000 children growing up below the federal poverty level.