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America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013

Indicators Needed

Economic Circumstances

Economic security is multifaceted; therefore, multiple measures are needed to adequately represent it. While this year's report continues to provide information on economic and food security, additional indicators are needed on:

  • Economic well-being. Economic well-being over time needs to be anchored in an average standard of living context. Multiple measures of family income or consumption, some of which might incorporate estimates of various family assets, could produce more reliable estimates of changes in children's economic well-being over time.
  • Long-term poverty among families with children.Although Federal data are available on child poverty (see Indicators ECON1.A and ECON1.B, Child Poverty and Family Income), the surveys that collect these data do not capture information on long-term poverty. Existing longitudinal survey data are available for identifying children living in poverty continually for a period of time and for producing estimates of the duration of poverty. However, those data are not available on a regular basis. The U.S. Census Bureau currently has longitudinal estimates of poverty for the 2004 to 2006 period based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2004 Panel. Estimates from the 2008 Panel of SIPP, covering the period 2009 to 2011, will be available later this year. Since long-term poverty can have serious negative consequences for children's well-being, regularly collected and reported estimates are needed.