DENVER - More Colorado kids are living in poverty today than in the worst years of the recession.
That's the finding of the annual Kids Count report, which revealed Monday that 224,000 Colorado kids live in poverty.
The state's childhood poverty rate has grown faster than all but two other states since 2000.
Gov. John Hickenlooper routinely touts Colorado as one of the best-performing state economies in the wake of the Great Recession. But he said no one has found out how to replace middle class jobs that disappeared during the recession.
The trends since 2012 are slow yet steady. In a ranking of the composite scores of the 25 largest counties, La Plata ranked ninth. In 2012, its rank was 11.
Montezuma ranked 24th this year, just ahead of Denver in the state's 25 largest counties. It was 21st in 2012.
More than four in 10 babies in Montezuma County are born to single women, and nearly 22 percent of the county's mothers have less than a high school education. Both those measures rose in the last two years.
In Montezuma, where the school districts have struggled with funding, just 37.1 percent of kindergartners are in a full-day class. That's about half the state average.