KIDS COUNT data center valuable source of info

For a reliable, user-friendly source of data about the lives of children outside the schoolhouse, look no further than the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT data center. 

KIDS COUNT houses state- and local-level data about "factors that affect the lives of children and families"-including statistics about the number of children in foster care, living in poverty, enrolled in public- health programs, and some 90-odd other data indicators of children's health and welfare. In the Buckeye State, KIDS COUNT provides data for the state as a whole, for the cities of Cleveland and Columbus, and for all 88 counties, although there is more data available for the state and cities than for the counties.

Novice users can easily pull up state and local profiles. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can create graphs showing trends over time and make color-coded maps to illustrate differences across the state or country. Serious data-miners can even download the raw numbers.

KIDS COUNT clearly defines the data and names its sources. The prominent drawback to the database is the lag in time before data is available (the most recent county-level information available for Ohio dates back to 2004 and 2005, depending on the category), but this delay is necessary when collecting and vetting information in 50 states (plus D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and hundreds of localities from a variety of sources. Access the database here.

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