The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth released their annual Child Well-Being report. The analysis shows Rutherford County is in the top percentile for positive child development, holding an overall ranking of 4 on the list, just behind Sumner County.
The top 4 counties receiving the highest overall scores for child development:
1. Williamson County
3. Sumner County
4. Rutherford County
Rutherford County at Number 4
Focusing on Rutherford County at number 4 on the list, only 9.7% of children are living in poverty stricken conditions. In case you're curious, Williamson County had the least number of children living in poverty with a percentage of only 3.6%. Lake County, Tennessee ha the highest with 40% of children living in child poverty.
60.8% of children born in Rutherford County are welcomed into the world by a married couple, meaning that 39.2% of children are born to an unwed female (Rutherford County ranks at number 18 on the list for babies being born to an unmarried woman).
In education, Rutherford County recorded a school suspension rate of 1.6%, placing Rutherford County at number 53 on the list for school suspension numbers. The rankings also showed that 95.1% of all students graduate high school in Rutherford County (Rutherford County ranked at number 22 on the list for teens graduating from high school).
Also positive in the numbers from Rutherford County... 95.2% of all children / teens are covered with health insurance, leaving only 4.8% of children without medical insurance.
Scroll down for more information on Rutherford County and additional findings across the state...
Rutherford County, TN Highlights
• 77.9% of youths who are old enough to work have a job
• Only 0.7% of children are part of families receiving funding from Families First grants (TANF)
• 10.9% of teens in Rutherford County were diagnosed with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), which placed Rutherford County at number 32 on the list for teens with an STD.
• 5.5% of newborns in Rutherford County were born to mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, ranking Rutherford County at number 4 on the list for women who smoked during their pregnancy
• The chronic absenteeism rate comes in at 6%, while the state average is 13% (Rutherford County ranked at #3 for having one of the lowest chronic absenteeism rates)
Scroll down to see how other counties in Tennessee ranked and why...
Continued - County Rankings in Tennessee...
Looking at numbers from other counties in Tennessee:
#1 Williamson County was at the top of the list with the overall best score in child well-being in Tennessee, ranking in the number 1 position. There, 88.1% of newborns are born to a married couple, as opposed to an unmarried woman. 96.1% of all children and teens in Williamson County have health insurance, which put the county at number 2 on the list for having the least amount of kids lacking health insurance. Williamson County also came in at the top with only 3.6% of children living in poverty. The county also ranked in the number 1 position for the highest median household income at $118,257 annually. The high school graduation rate in Williamson County was 96.2%, which ranks the county at number 13 on the list for students who graduate high school.
#2 Coming in at 2nd place overall was Wilson County. There, the county performed better than most with 70% of children being born to a married woman as opposed to unmarried... giving the county a rank of 3 in that category (30% of Wilson County births are to unmarried females). But, it wasn't all high marks - Wilson County's school suspension rate was high, ranking the county in the position of number 80 on the list at 3.5%.
#3 Sumner County received an overall ranking of 3 on the list. The child poverty rate in Sumner County sits at 12.4%, which is the 5th lowest in the state. The school suspension rate came in high on the list at number 69. Sumner County also ranked high in the category of child and teen deaths at number 32, with 14.3 deaths (per 100,000).
#4 Rutherford County came in at number 4 on their overall rankings (see information on Rutherford County in the first half of this article by scrolling up).
#24 Knox County, home to Knoxville, Tennessee, was ranked at number 24 on the list. Knox County ranked high in school suspensions, coming in at number 86 on the list at 5.1%. The child poverty rate in Knox County was relatively low at 13.1% - meaning Knox County had the 9th lowest amount of children living in poverty. The county came in at number 42 on the list for child and teen deaths at 18.2 (per 100,000).
#41Coming in at number 41 on the list was Hamilton County (Chattanooga area)
#47 Coffee County ranked at number 47 on the list for child well-being.
#64 Bedford County came in at number 64 on the list
#83 Cannon County came in at number 83 on the list. There, 57.4% of newborns are born to a married couple (42.6% of births to unmarried females). Cannon County was ranked at number 43 on the list for their school suspension rate. Cannon County ranked at number 23 on the list for child poverty (18.3% of children are living in poverty in Cannon County).
#90 Davidson County did not fare well on child well-being, coming in at the bottom of the list at number 90.
#93 Lake County, Tennessee was ranked at number 93 on the list
#94 Next to the bottom of the rankings was Shelby County with a rank of 94 out of all 95 Tennessee Counties. The study showed that 61.7% of children are born to unmarried females. Shelby County had a 93 ranking in their school suspension rate, which was third to last on the list. There, the median household income equals $50,870 annually, which is number 40 on the list.
#95 Madison County came in last with an overall ranking of 95 for child well-being. There, schools recorded the highest suspension rate at 9.3% and the county also had one of the highest child poverty rates at 32.3%. The county also recorded a high school graduation rate of only 85.7%.
• Tennessee had more than one in five children living in poverty in 2020. The lowest percentage is in Williamson County (3.6 percent) and the highest percentage is in Lake County (40 percent).
• Fewer than one in three 3rd-8th grade students in Tennessee rated proficient on 2020-21 TNReady Reading tests. In Haywood County, fewer than one out of every 10 students rated proficient compared to Williamson County, where more than half of all students rated proficient.
• Across Tennessee, 4.9 percent of children were uninsured in 2019. The lowest percentage of children lacking health insurance was 3.8 percent in Lake County. The highest percentage was in Pickett County at 6.9 percent.
• Tennessee had 4.6 substantiated cases of abuse or neglect per 1,000 children in 2020. Decatur County had the highest rate at 12.2 and Williamson county had the lowest at 1.