More children insured in Routt County according to Kids Count in Colorado 2015 report
At a glance:
Uninsured children: 18 percent in 2013, 39 percent in 2012
Obese children: 26 percent in 2013, 23 percent in 2012
Children under 18 in poverty: 12.1 percent in 2013, 11.1 percent in 2012
Births to single women: 16.6 percent in 2013, 15.2 percent in 2012
Student English language learners: 7.5 percent in fall 2014, 7 percent in fall 2013
Kindergarteners in full-day program: 93.2 percent in fall 2014, 85 percent in fall 2013
Steamboat Springs — The number of uninsured children in Routt County has dropped drastically since 2012, according to a report released Monday from the Colorado Children’s Campaign and local social services officials.
The rate of uninsured children fell from 39 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2013 and is likely much lower now due to the effects of the Affordable Care Act and numerous local campaigns encouraging enrollment, according to Vickie Clark, director of Routt County Department of Human Services.
The 2013 number was released Monday as part of the 2015 Kids Count in Colorado survey, a statewide report that includes data on childhood poverty, obesity, overall well-being and other information.
Clark said that between 2013 and now, many more children — and adults — have picked up insurance during open enrollment periods, which she said leads her to believe that the number of uninsured children is now lower than 18 percent.
“Between all the different efforts, I feel like we’ve reached as many people as we can,” Clark said. “I know that the numbers (of insured children) are drastically higher now.”
Routt County was tied for the third-highest rate of uninsured children among Colorado counties. Statewide, 9 percent of children were uninsured in 2013, compared to 15.9 percent in 2012.
Clark and First Impressions Program Manager Stephanie Martin said they use data from reports like Kids Count in Colorado to better understand the local population’s needs and as supporting information when applying for grants.
Other interesting statistics from the 2015 report include the childhood obesity rate, which stood at 26 percent in Routt County in 2013, on-par with the state’s 2010-2013 average of 27 percent, and ranking in the exact middle of Colorado’s 25 largest counties.
The rate of obese children is up from recent years — just 14 percent were reported obese in 2011, and 23 percent in 2012.
The number of children living in poverty in Routt County has remained fairly steady over the past three years of reports, with 12.1 percent of children under 18 identified as living poverty in 2013, up from 11.1 percent in 2012.
Clark said that often people are unaware of the poverty rates in Routt County, adding that many people technically above the poverty line are still struggling to afford to live here.
“We have a much higher percentage of families in poverty than people realize,” Clark said. “There’s a lot of people that are struggling to live here.”
Additional data in the report details birth statistics, including the number of babies born to single women and women without 12 years of education and babies with a low birth weight, education data and more statistics on family economics and supports.
The full report and reports from the last several years are available at http://www.coloradokids.org.
To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow
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