Minnesota is the best state for kids – but it's not equal between races

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Minnesota is the best state for children, according to a study released Tuesday.

For the second year in a row, the Kids Count Data Center ranked Minnesota No. 1 on its annual child well-being list based on education, economics, family and community and health.

It's the seventh time the state has taken the top spot since the ranking began back in 1990, the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota says.

But there's room for the state improve – especially when it comes to children who aren't white.

'Greater barrier to success' for non-white children

The Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota says it's "evident" there are "greater barriers to success" for American Indian children and kids of color when compared to their white counterparts.

In fact, MPR News says Minnesota has some of the greatest racial disparities in child well-being compared to other states.

These disparities are making it more difficult for families to provide for their kids, Stephanie Hogenson, research and policy director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, said in a news release.

For example, kids of color are more likely to live in high poverty areas, which limits their access to safe child care, healthy foods and parks, among other resources, MPR News notes.

"We cannot be content with a high ranking that masks chronic inequities for children of color in our state. We need to increase access to opportunity and reduce systemic barriers so that all Minnesota children have access to their basic needs and opportunities that help them thrive," Bharti Wahi, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, said in a news release.

Minnesota ranked third in the nation in economic well-being, first in health, sixth in education, and fourth in family and community. See a breakdown of the rankings here.

To look at more of the data, including comparing different counties and communities within Minnesota, click here.

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