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


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.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.


Minnesota is 6th most expensive state to raise kids, report says

The Fiscal Times ranks Minnesota No. 6 of the "12 Most Expensive States to Raise Children." According to the report, Minnesotans spend an average of $9,700 in full-time childcare per year, which is almost as expensive as the cost of tuition at a public university, nearly $10,400 on average.

Star Tribune releases its Best of Minnesota list

Looking for the best used book store in Minnesota? The best hiking trail? After-hours joint? The Star Tribune has endeavored to select the best of everything in the state in its annual rankings.

State's minority population of kids under 5 soars

A look at Minnesota's youngest residents spells change for a state that is overwhelmingly white. Minorities make up 17 percent of Minnesota's population but 30 percent of its preschool-age ranks, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau estimates. In Ramsey County, for the first time, there are more children under 5 of color than there are white children.