Three Southwestern states are ranked near the bottom when it comes to child well-being, with New Mexico leading the way among its neighbors.
The annual Kids Count report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks New Mexico 49th, ahead of only Mississippi. Louisiana, Nevada and Arizona fill in the rest of the bottom five.
The report considers numerous measures like poverty rates, reading proficiency and teen birth rates.
In New Mexico, advocates say there's one bright spot. The state jumped from 44th to 37th in the health category since more children have access to care through the expansion of Medicaid and are likely getting checkups and vaccinations.
Arizona also has fewer children without insurance but more children living in poverty.
New Mexico finished last in education with a high percentage of fourth graders not proficient in reading, and Nevada followed for the number of children not participating in early learning programs.