It's a very uncomfortable subject, but it's one that needs to be addressed more often. There are far too many children in America that have to go without the necessities of life on a daily basis.

A recent study conducted by personal finance website, WalletHub, listed "2022’s States with the Most Underprivileged Children", and while the Cowboy State was far from the worse, we were no where near the best either. Overall, Wyoming ranked 17th, putting us in the top 20 worse states in the entire country.

Source: WalletHub

There were several different factors that went into Wyoming's poor overall score, which include ranking on these key metrics (with 1 being the worst ranking and 25 being average):

  • 1st – Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated
  • 3rd – Percentage of Uninsured Children
  • 10th – Child & Youth Homeless Rate
  • 23rd – % of Children in Foster Care
  • 28th – % of Maltreated Children
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WalletHub went into detail about the issue, stating:

In an ideal world, all children would live worry-free and have access to their basic needs: nutritious food, a good education, quality health care and a secure home. Emotionally, they all would feel safe and be loved and supported by caring adults. When all such needs are met, children have a better chance of a stable and happy adult life. But in reality, not every child is so privileged — even in the richest nation in the world. Plus, conditions are even harder for underprivileged children this year due to the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

In the U.S., nearly 1 in 7 children live in poverty, and according to the Children’s Defense Fund, a child is abused or neglected every 48 seconds. In addition, one year of all confirmed cases of child maltreatment leads to $124 billion in costs over those children’s lifetimes.

This study does bring light to the issue, which hopefully means the "powers-that-be" can at least begin to put programs in place to better this situation for our youth statewide.

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