An annual report out Tuesday lists Minnesota as the best state in the U.S. for overall child well-being for the second year in a row.
The Kids Count Data Book ranks states on education, economics, family and community, and health.
Minnesota, though, has room to improve, especially in closing racial achievement gaps, said Stephanie Hogenson with Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, which compiled government data on Minnesota for the national report.
Compared to other states, Minnesota has some of the greatest racial disparities in child well-being.
"We're not lifting up the potential of children of color and American Indian children in the way other states have been able to," Hogenson said. "We definitely need to start paying attention to how we create programs and policies that serve children and make sure they're accessible to children of color and American Indian children."
Children of color are more likely to live in high poverty areas, which affects their access to safe child care, healthy foods, parks and other resources, Hogenson added.
Nationally, Minnesota ranked third in economic well-being, first in health, sixth in education, and fourth in family and community.
"We have to support two generation programs and policies that improve family economic stability," Hogenson said. Those are programs that help parents work and become better education while ensuring that children have access to care and developmental programs that support their success."