Date Published: June 15, 2008

KIDS COUNT in Colorado! is an annual publication of the Children’s Campaign, providing state- and county-level data on child well-being factors including child health, education, and economic status. Since its first release 15 years ago, KIDS COUNT in Colorado! has become the most trusted source for data and information on Colorado children and is relied upon by lawmakers, community leaders, and child advocates to inform policy debates and community discussions on issues impacting kids.

Poverty: The Biggest Obstacle for Colorado Kids

Between 2000 and 2006, Colorado had a 73 percent increase in the number of children living in poverty, putting our state first in the nation for the fastest growing rate of children in economic distress. By a lot of different measures, poverty is the largest obstacle to opportunity for Colorado’s youngest citizens. Kids born into and growing up in poverty struggle with low educational achievement, health problems, emotional and behavioral difficulties, and a range of other issues that decrease their chance of success and often rob them of hope at an early age. Since the consequences of being poor in childhood often carry into adulthood, significant economic costs are associated with this trend. In fact, a recent study by the Human Services Policy Center found that growing up in poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion annually in lost earnings, involvement with crime, and health costs. This is a trend our children, and our state, cannot afford.

In this year’s report, the Children’s Campaign focuses on the critical issue of child poverty. The 2008 KIDS COUNT in Colorado report also includes a supplemental edition of KIDS COUNT! with county rankings and maps of various indicators of child well-being. This additional information is provided to help communities quickly see and understand how they compare to other counties in the state and in their region. We hope these additional documents will be useful to you as we all seek to give Colorado’s kids the best possible future.

2008 KIDS COUNT in Colorado!