Louisiana has seen gains in child well-being, but those gains could be reversed if an undercount of children takes place with the upcoming census. The latest KIDS COUNT Data Book ranked Louisiana 49th in overall child well-being, despite improvements since 2010 in nine of the 16 measures tracked in the annual report. KIDS COUNT manager at Agenda for Children Teresa Falgoust says this year’s census may prove to be tricky in securing the most accurate data.

“It’s the first electronic census, and there’s this untested question about citizenship that may discourage some children and immigrant families from getting counted.”

Falgoust explains that over $2 billion are allocated to children’s programs based on census numbers, so accuracy is important.

“Everything from Medicaid to SNAP and the WIC program all depend on accurate census counts.”

Among the issues, the state faces with child well-being is the child poverty rate, which Falgoust says is on the rise.

“While almost every state saw its child poverty rate decrease since 2010, Louisiana’s child poverty rate actually increased from 27% to 29%.”

Among the other statistics, the Falgoust says there have been some nice gains in on-time high school graduation rates.