There are about 26 million girls in the U.S. and raising one of them can be overwhelming enough. It’s impossible for a dude raising a daughter to not worry about their future, but the Girl Scouts Of The USA has been turning girls into leaders for over 104 years. Rest assured, you can take a page from their book — or report, in this case. This week the Girl Scout Research Institute released their third edition of The State Of Girls, which forecasts what the future looks like post-Great Recession. Conditions are improving, but there’s plenty of work ahead.
Using data from the American Community Survey, The National Survey Of Children’s Health, and several other government sources, the report looked at 4 key indicators such as economic, physical/emotional health, education, and extracurricular/outside of school activities on state and national levels. Based on this, they identified several areas for improvement including poverty and obesity rates, which have gone up for girls since 2007. There as a 3 percent increase in high school girls who tried marijuana and a 4 percent increase in those who attempted suicide as well.
Still, more girls are graduating high school, volunteering, and bullying declined from 34 percent to 25 percent across all demographics. The states where girls thrived the most were New Hampshire, Utah, Minnesota, Vermont, and South Dakota. The states where girls struggled the most were Nevada, Tennessee, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi. Progress shows that girls want to be kind to each other, contribute to their communities, and become super successful, but the gaps suggest they’re not getting the support they need to do that everywhere.
According to the report, this is because girls have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. But recovery is attainable with a greater investment in young women and that’s where organizations like the Girl Scouts come in. “Giving girls the opportunity to achieve — no matter what obstacles they face — is what Girl Scouts is all about,” Kathy Hannan, GSUSA’s national board president said in a press release. So it’s no surprise that the regions where girls faired the best also had a strong Girl Scouts presence. They’re a one-stop shop for programs that invest in your daughter’s potential, and they sell cookies too. So supporting them is a pretty sweet deal all around.