2008 -- Here are some of the latest numbers about South Carolina,
compared to other states:
of improvements needed in health care
in smoking prevention. Headlines this month highlighted that
South Carolina spends less on smoking prevention than any other
state. (You might remember we also have the nation's lowest cigarette
tax at 7 cents per pack.). More.
highest in infant mortality. Like last year, the state has
the third highest rate in infant mortality, with 9.4 infants per
1,000 dying, according to the National
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
highest in premature births. Some 15.6 percent of South Carolina's
babies are born prematurely, which won the state an "F"
rating from a recent new March
of Dimes study.
in stroke, diabetes. The state's rankings for rates of stroke
and diabetes have improved slightly. Instead of being first in
the nation on stroke, we're now 5th with 58.5 victims per 100,000
people, according to the NCHS.
Instead of having the third highest diabetes rate , we're now
fifth - even though a slightly higher percentage (9.8 percent
now, compared to 9.4 percent last year) have diabetes, according
to the Trust
for America's Health.
worst place for kids. Like last year, the state is ranked
46th out of 50 in places for children to grow up, according to
in adult obesity. Some 28.4 percent of the state's adults
are obese, up 0.6 percent from last year, but the state's ranking
dropped from fifth, based on numbers from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
highest in child deaths. The state rose from six slots in
having the high rates of child deaths, according to numbers from
indicators generally bad
highest unemployment. Like last year, South Carolina has the
fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. But last year's
5.6 percent rate has jumped to 7.3
percent now as the nation grapples with recession.
in poverty. The state's poverty rate has gone from 15th in
the country to 11th, based on the most recent statistics by KidsCount.
Some 15 percent of South Carolinians -- and 21 percent of children
-- live in poverty.
capita growth slightly better. South Carolina has moved from
next to the last to 46th out of 50 in per capita economic growth,
according to federal
estimates. While some industries are shutting down in the
recession, there are still plant openings and new jobs scattered
across the state.
is little changed
in violent crime. For the second year in a row, South Carolina
has the worst violent crime in the nation, according to the FBI.
While the murder rate is slightly down, aggravated assaults and
burglary are up.
in domestic violence. The State continues to rank seventh
in the country in the number of women killed by men, according
Violence Policy Center.
a slightly brighter spot
in SAT score. South Carolina students scored slightly better
to come in at 48th in SAT scores, up one slot from last year,
according to the State Department of Education. ACT scores are
up for the fifth straight year. More.
good first. And to end on an upbeat note, the state ranks
best in the nation for improving teacher quality, according to