The annual Kids Count survey, conducted by the University of Montana Business and Economic research, shows that Montana ranks number 28 nationally in child and family well-being.

Outreach Coordinator for Montana Kids Count Jennifer Calder said this week that according to the data, Montana is a good place to raise kids. The survey relates information such as access to education and health insurance companies for children in all of Montana's 56 counties.

"The percentage of Montana children without health insurance continues to shrink, so more and more children are covered under health insurance, and a good part of that is the expansion of Healthy Montana Kids," Calder said. "Our 4th grade reading proficiency and our 8th grade math proficiency are in the top ten nationally, and continue to show improvement."

On the other side of the issue, Calder said Montana children continue to die at a faster rate than the rest of the country.

"Even though child and youth death rates have declined by 13 percent in the past decade, Montana still has the highest child and death rate in the nation," Calder said. "The national average is 26 per 100,000, and Montana is 45 per 100,000. Most of those deaths, about 70 percent, are the result of accidents or suicides. That's important to note, because many of those deaths are preventable."

The entire Kids Count survey is available online.

Outreach Coordinator for Montana Kids Count Jennifer Calder