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2013 KIDS COUNT data book: State trends in child well-being

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Publication Date: 
24 Jun 2013

Excerpts from news release:

Child poverty still on the rise, but outlook for children better in education and health, KIDS COUNT report finds gradual economic recovery presents national opportunity to refocus on investments in early childhood development

As the nation's economy recovers, America's children are showing some signs of improvement despite an ever-growing poverty rate, according to new data in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT® Data Book.

Children continue to progress in the areas of education and health. From roughly 2005 to 2011, the teen birth rate dropped by 15 percent to a historic low. The rate of high school students not graduating in four years saw an almost 20 percent decline, as did the child and teen death rate. The percent age of children without health insurance decreased by 30 percent.

Although the economic well-being of the nation's children improved slightly from 2010to 2011, the negative impact of the recession remains evident. In 2011, the child poverty rate stood at 23 percent, or 16.4 million children-an increase of 3 million since 2005. The number of children living in households spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing- more than 29 million in 2011 saw minor improvement from the previous year, but was still about 2 million more than in 2005. Similarly, the number of children whose parents lacked full-time, year-round employment was nearly 20 percent higher than in 2008.

The 2013 Data Book also examines how America's youngest children are faring , adding to the ongoing national conversation on early childhood education. In particular, younger children are disproportionately affected by the lingering effects of the recession: The poverty rate among children younger than 3 is 26 percent; among 3-to 5 -year-olds, it is 25 percent-higher than the national average for all kids.

"Children are our nation's most precious resource, as well as our future leaders, employees, citizens and parents," said Patrick McCarthy, the Foundation's president and CEO. " The early years of their lives are a critical juncture in their development. As our economic recovery continues, we cannot lose sight of doing whatever it takes to help kids, particularly kids in low-ncome families, reach their full potential- and that includes laying a solid foundation from the moment they are born."