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Report looks at health status of nation's youth

American Indian and Alaska Native youth remain at the bottom, or near the bottom, of health care indicators in the United States, according to the new Kids Count report.

The 2008 report examined data on a nationwide and state-by-state basis. It found the following:
• 7.4 percent of Native babies were born underweight. The national average was 8.4 percent.
• 8.0 percent of Native babies died at birth or before their 1st birthday. The national average was 6.9 percent.
• The child death rate was 29 per 100,000 for Native children, the highest in the nation.
• The teen death rate was 94 per 100,000 for Native teens, or 45 percent higher than the national average.
• The rate of births among Native female teens was 53 per 1,000, the second-highest in the nation.
• 11 percent of Native teens failed to complete high school, the second-highest rate.
• 16 percent of Native teens are not in school and are not working, the highest rate.
• 53 percent of Native children lived in homes where no parent has a full-time job, the highest in the nation.
&#!49; 35 percent of Native children live in poverty, twice the national average.
• 49 percent of Native children are being raised in single parent homes, the second-highest rate.

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Report: Worrisome rise in underweight babies (AP 6/12)