New Child Well-Being Report Focuses on Challenges Rural Counties Face

Profiles Released with Report Rank Counties from Williamson to Davidson
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 12:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. The differing challenges faced by Tennessee’s urban and rural counties, as well as those that are shared, are explored in KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee, released today. This report, produced by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, the Annie E. Casey Foundation Tennessee KIDS COUNT® partner, is released in conjunction with county profiles for all 95 Tennessee counties. The profiles include substantial county-level data and county ranks in important areas affecting child development: economic well-being, education, health and family, and community. The profiles also list county measures on 38 indicators.

“The inauguration of a new governor always brings with it a change in priorities and a new way of looking at old problems,” said TCCY Executive Director Richard Kennedy. “Governor Lee has put a focus on some of the state’s most economically-challenged rural counties, and TCCY has disaggregated as much data as possible by rural status in the report to help identify policy priorities for those areas.”

The counties ranked in the top 10 are Williamson, Sumner, Wilson, Overton, Washington, Montgomery, Blount, Rutherford and Smith. The most challenged are Hardeman, Lake, Union, Shelby, Hancock, Haywood, Madison, Clay, Cocke and Davidson. Individual county ranks, especially those for counties with fewer residents may vary greatly from last year as small changes in some measures used to determine the rates, such as child deaths, may have an outsize effect.

The report includes critical data on Tennessee children and families, what is helping them thrive and some of the biggest challenges they face. Data are organized into issue areas, with visually appealing, easy-to-understand formats. Many issue areas include questions for policymakers and elected officials to consider as they make decisions affecting our children’s lives and the future of our state.

“We know that Tennessee’s future prosperity depends on the investments we make today in our greatest asset,” said Kennedy, “the parents, workers, teachers and leaders of tomorrow – our children.”

As the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT partner in Tennessee, TCCY supports data-driven advocacy for policies and programs that improve outcomes for Tennessee children and families. The report highlights several indicators that are available on the KIDS COUNT data center and encourages readers to explore the wealth of information available there on Tennessee children and families and how we compare to the nation.

KIDS COUNT: State of the Child in Tennessee is available online at or from a TCCY regional coordinator. County Profiles are available at

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Release Information

Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs and rankings in stories about child well-being can use the KIDS COUNT® Data Center at

About the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. Information on the agency is available at

About the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation