Georgia is not generally viewed as a wealthy state, an educated state or a healthy state, and those stereotypes got backing Tuesday from the data in a report issued Tuesday by a Washington, D.C. think tank.
The state ranked below average on most of 15 “key” indicators – and was near the bottom on some, according to the “State of the States” analysis from the Center for American Progress.
The center analyzed official data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and calculated rankings on 15 measures.
Of those 15 measures, Georgia ranked below average on 13.
For example, more than 18 percent of Georgians had incomes below the poverty line, which is about $24,000 for a family of four. The state ranked 44th. That is an improvement from last year’s report, which ranked the state 47th.
But it is worse than in 2011, when Georgia ranked 41st.
On child poverty, Georgia ranked 46th: more than one-quarter of all children under the sage of 18 were in families that had incomes below the poverty line.
Some of the indicators were intended to show “family stability and strength,” the center said.
For instance, high rates of teen pregnancy are often associated with poverty, the need for government support, low educational attainment and limited income potential for decades.
And the most recent statistics available showed 30.5 births per 1,000 young women aged 15 to 19. Georgia ranked 38th in that category. That is a drop from last year’s ranking of 35th.
But five years ago, Georgia also ranked 38th in that category.
The group, generally viewed as left of center, describes itself as a “nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all.”
CAP analyzes the data and produces the state-by-state ranking each year.
Of the 15 measures calculated by the center, Georgia is above average on two:
— The wage gap between men and women. Georgia ranks 15th, with women’s median earnings at 81.7 percent of men’s median earnings.
— The percentage of children living in foster care. Georgia ranks second with three children in foster care for every 1,000 children under the age of 18. Only Washington, D.C. scored higher.