Atlanta Tops the List in New Report Ranking ‘Kid-Friendly’ Cities
Atlanta, Ga., is making the greatest improvements among large U.S. cities on three children's health indicators, according to a report released today by Population Connection, formerly known as Zero Population Growth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (McKenna, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/10). The Health Improvement Report, part of Population Connection's Kid Friendly Cities Health Improvement Report Card series, used statistics from the CDC to grade cities on infant mortality rates, teen pregnancy rates and the number of low-birthweight babies from 1990 to 1998. Of the 25 major metropolitan areas -- those with populations of more than two million -- evaluated, Atlanta received the highest grade, an A-plus, while St. Louis, Mo., received the lowest grade, a C-minus. The report also analyzed data from 140 "independent" cities -- those with populations between 100,000 and two million. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the highest grade, while Eugene, Ore., received the lowest. Population Connection President Peter Kostmayer said, "All the cities, regardless of their grade, have two things in common -- they all have kid-friendly success stories and they all could do better. This report is designed to recognize success and to help cities focus on doing better" (Population Connection release, 6/5). Lowering teen pregnancy rates "is key to a higher" ranking, the Detroit News reports. Brian Dixon, director of government relations for Population Connection, said, "Cities that didn't do well with teen pregnancies didn't do well in the other areas either," adding, "Children born to teens are more likely to die before their first birthday and are born with low birthweight[s]" (Morris, Detroit News, 6/11). The report is available online. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.