According to a new national study focusing on children, Indiana’s child poverty rate is significantly worse than a decade ago. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports.
The same Annie E. Casey Foundation study found a majority of Indiana babies continue to be born with low birthweights – 82 percent of babies in 2008. That’s a twelve percent increase from the year 2000 and is worse than the national average. Health officials say that babies with low birthweight are much more likely to die before their first birthday, suffer health consequences throughout their lives, and struggle in school. Bill Stanczykiewicz says part of the reason for the increase is that younger mothers don’t use prenatal care or don’t have access to it. He also says the number of pregnant Indiana women who smoke is twice that of the national average.