LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New data from New Mexico shows that the southern portion of the state continues to lag behind the rest of the state in child poverty and welfare. The 2020 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book was released to provide state legislators child welfare data and showed that the state is still 48th in child poverty among U.S. states. Emily Wildau, the New Mexico Kids Count research and policy analyst, says most of the data released was from 2019. She says that in the data’s timeframe, 11 of 16 indicators of child welfare had improved. Despite the improvements in some categories, the south of the state is still experiencing problems with child poverty and welfare.