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Copyright 2005

Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
420 N.W. 13th Street
Suite 101
Oklahoma City 73103
Phone: 405-236-5437
Fax: 405-236-5439

More Oklahoma Kids Count Factbooks are available



Press Release

Embargoed until October 11, 2005

Contact: Anne Roberts, Executive Director
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Office: 405/236-5437 Ext. 110 • Cell: 405/627-9877
or Ann Salazar at 405-236-5437 Ext. 106 • Cell: 405/831-2806



The door to the doctor’s office is closed to too many Oklahoma children. Each year, over seventeen thousand fail to receive all the health care they need, according to the 2005 Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook recently released at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s (OICA) Fall Legislative Forum at the University of Central Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma is the only state whose health status worsened during the 1990’s. Despite the improvements made in the past few years, Oklahoma still ranks near the bottom, 45th of all the states. The Factbook takes an in-depth look at how threats to a healthy childhood result from complex interactions between biology, environment, behavior and access to care. (See Facts at a Glance Part Two.)

Anne Roberts, Executive Director of OICA says of the Factbook, “This one-of-a-kind document provides solid, research-based data that helps us understand what and where the biggest challenges are, and guides us toward policy and budgetary decisions to meet those challenges.” (See Facts at a Glance Part One.)

This 10th Annual Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook also presents a profile of the status of children and youth on a county-by-county basis. It updates 12 indicators of child, family and community well-being. Roberts explains, “OICA continues to produce the Factbook because we know how difficult it can be for state and local leaders to make decisions about the allocation of their limited resources. The up-to-date information in the Factbook clearly points out problem areas, which can lead us towards positive policy decisons.”

The good news is Oklahoma has made progress in eight of the twelve indicators. Teen birth rates, juvenile violent crime rates, infant mortality and child and teen death rates are all down. The bad news is, the improvements in these numbers still leave thousands of kids out of reach of the healthy and successful lives that Oklahomans’ want for their children.

The numbers of low and very low birth weight infants has shown no improvement with a ranking of 27th. Oklahoma also ranks in the bottom half of all states (39th) in the rate of child abuse and neglect.

The 2005 Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Oklahoma corporations and businesses, and individuals, is available in hard copy or online. New this year, the individual County Benchmark pages, the data tables, and sources and methodology are available only online, along with the book in its entirety. For more information call 405/236-5437 or go to

The Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook is produced by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, a broad-based, multi-issue organization that promotes programs and policies designed to improve the health and well-being of Oklahoma’s children and youth. The Annie E. Casey Foundation and local supporters fund the Oklahoma KIDS COUNT project.