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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2016

America's Children at a Glance

To open each section click on the section name next to the arrow. To close each section click the section name again.

  Previous Value (Year) Most Recent Value (Year) Change Between Years
close Demographic Background
Child population1
Children ages 0–17 in the United States 73.6 million (2014) 73.6 million (2015) NS
Children as a percentage of the population1
Children ages 0–17 in the United States 23.1% (2014) 22.9%(2015) Arrow pointing down
Racial and ethnic composition1
Children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin2
White, non-Hispanic 51.9% (2014) 51.5% (2015) Arrow pointing down
Black, non-Hispanic 13.8% (2014) 13.8% (2015) NS
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic 0.9% (2014) 0.9% (2015) NS
Asian, non-Hispanic 4.8% (2014) 4.9% (2015) Arrow pointing up
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic 0.2% (2014) 0.2% (2015) NS
Two or more races, non-Hispanic 4.0% (2014) 4.1% (2015) Arrow pointing up
Hispanic 24.4% (2014) 24.6% (2015) Arrow pointing up
open Family and Social Environment
Family structure and children's living arrangements
Children ages 0–17 living with two married parents 64% (2014) 65% (2015) NS
Births to unmarried women
Births to unmarried women ages 15–44 44.3 per 1,000 (2013) 43.9 per 1,000 (2014) Arrow pointing down
Births that are to unmarried women among all births 40.6% (2013) 40.2% (2014) Arrow pointing down
Child care
Children ages 0–4, with employed mothers, whose primary child care arrangement is with a relative 48% (2010) 49% (2011) NS
Children ages 3–6, not yet in kindergarten, who were in center-based care arrangements 55% (2007) 61% (2012) Arrow pointing up
Children of at least one foreign-born parent
Children ages 0–17 living with at least one foreign-born parent 24% (2014) 25% (2015) NS
Language spoken at home and difficulty speaking English
Children ages 5–17 who speak a language other than English at home 22% (2013) 22% (2014) NS
Children ages 5–17 who speak a language other than English at home and who have difficulty speaking English 5% (2013) 5% (2014) NS
Adolescent births
Births to females ages 15–17 12 per 1,000 (2013) 11 per 1,000 (2014) Arrow pointing down
Child maltreatment1
Substantiated reports of maltreatment of children ages 0–17 10 per 1,000 (2013) 10 per 1,000 (2014) NS
open Economic Circumstances
Child poverty and family income
Children ages 0–17 in poverty 22% (2013) 21% (2014) NS
Secure parental employment
Children ages 0–17 living with at least one parent employed year round, full time 74% (2013) 75% (2014) Arrow pointing up
Food insecurity
Children ages 0–17 in households classified by USDA as "food insecure" 21% (2013) 21% (2014) NS
open Health Care
Health insurance coverage
Children ages 0–17 who were uninsured at the time of interview 7% (2013) 5% (2014) Arrow pointing down
Usual source of health care
Children ages 0–17 with no usual source of health care 4% (2013) 4% (2014) NS
Immunization
Children ages 19–35 months with the 4:3:1:33:3:1:4 combined series 70% (2013) 72% (2014) NS
Oral health
Children ages 5–17 with a dental visit in the past year 88% (2013) 88% (2014) NS
open Physical Environment and Safety
Outdoor air quality
Children ages 0–17 living in counties with pollutant concentrations above the levels of the current air quality standards 62% (2013) 60% (2014) NS
Secondhand smoke
Children ages 4–11 with any detectable blood cotinine level, a measure for recent exposure to secondhand smoke 42% (2009–10) 40% (2011–12) NS
Drinking water quality
Children served by community water systems that did not meet all applicable health-based drinking water standards 7% (2013) 6% (2014) NS
Lead in the blood of children
Children ages 1–5 with blood lead greater than or equal to 5 µg/dL 3% (2007–2010) 1% (2011–2014)4 NS
Housing problems
Households with children ages 0–17 reporting shelter cost burden, crowding, and/or physically inadequate housing 46% (2011) 40% (2013) Arrow pointing down
Youth victims of serious violent crimes
Serious violent crime victimization of youth ages 12–17 9 per 1,000 (2013) 7 per 1,000 (2014) NS
Child injury and mortality
Injury deaths of children ages 1–4 11 per 100,000 (2013) 10 per 100,000 (2014) NS
Injury deaths of children ages 5–14 5 per 100,000 (2013) 5 per 100,000 (2014) NS
Adolescent injury and mortality
Injury deaths of adolescents ages 15–19 33 per 100,000 (2013) 34 per 100,000 (2014) Arrow pointing up
open Behavior
Regular cigarette smoking
Students who reported smoking daily in the past 30 days
8th grade 1% (2014) 1% (2015) NS
10th grade 3% (2014) 3% (2015) NS
12th grade 7% (2014) 6% (2015) Arrow pointing down
Alcohol use
Students who reported having 5 or more alcoholic beverages in a row in the past 2 weeks
8th grade 4% (2014) 5% (2015) NS
10th grade 13% (2014) 11% (2015) Arrow pointing down
12th grade 19% (2014) 17% (2015) Arrow pointing down
Illicit drug use
Students who reported using illicit drugs in the past 30 days
8th grade 8% (2014) 8% (2015) NS
10th grade 19% (2014) 17% (2015) Arrow pointing down
12th grade 24% (2014) 24% (2015) NS
Sexual activity
High school students who reported ever having had sexual intercourse 47% (2011) 47% (2013) NS
Youth perpetrators of serious violent crimes
Youth offenders ages 12–17 involved in serious violent crimes 9 per 1,000 (2013) 7 per 1,000 (2014) NS
open Education
Family reading to young children
Children ages 3–5 who were read to 3 or more times in the last week 83% (2007) 83% (2012) NS
Mathematics and reading achievement
Average mathematics scale score of
4th-graders (0–500 scale) 242 (2013) 240 (2015) Arrow pointing down
8th-graders (0–500 scale) 285 (2013) 282 (2015) Arrow pointing down
12th-graders (0–300 scale) 153 (2009) 153 (2013) NS
Average reading scale score of
4th-graders (0–500 scale) 222 (2013) 223 (2015) NS
8th-graders (0–500 scale) 268 (2013) 265 (2015) Arrow pointing down
12th-graders (0–500 scale) 288 (2009) 288 (2013) NS
High school academic coursetaking
High school graduates who completed selected mathematics and science courses
Algebra II 70% (2005) 76% (2009) Arrow pointing up
Analysis/precalculus 29% (2005) 35% (2009) Arrow pointing up
Biology and chemistry 64% (2005) 68% (2009) Arrow pointing up
Biology, chemistry, and physics 27% (2005) 30% (2009) Arrow pointing up
High school completion
Young adults ages 18–24 who have completed high school 92% (2013) 92% (2014) NS
Youth neither enrolled in school5 nor working
Youth ages 16–19 who are neither enrolled in school nor working 9% (2014) 9% (2015) NS
College enrollment
Recent high school completers enrolled in college the October immediately after completing high school 66% (2013) 68% (2014) NS
open Health
Preterm birth and low birthweight
Infants less than 37 weeks of gestation at birth 10% (2013) 10% (2014) NS
Infants weighing less than 5 lb. 8 oz. at birth 8% (2013) 8% (2014) NS
Infant mortality
Deaths before first birthday 6 per 1,000 (2012) 6 per 1,000 (2013) NS
Emotional and behavioral difficulties
Children ages 4–17 reported by a parent to have serious difficulties with emotions, concentration, behavior, or getting along with other people 5% (2013) 5% (2014) NS
Adolescent depression
Youth ages 12–17 with Major Depressive Episode in the past year 11% (2013) 11% (2014) NS
Activity limitation
Children ages 5–17 with activity limitation resulting from one or more chronic health conditions 9% (2013) 9% (2014) NS
Diet quality
Average diet quality for children ages 2–17, using the Healthy Eating Index–2010 total scores (maximum score=100) 53% (2009–2010) 55%6 (2011–2012) NC
Obesity
Children ages 6–17 who are obese 19% (2007–2010) 19% (2011–2014) NS
Asthma
Children ages 0–17 who currently have asthma 8% (2013) 9% (2014) NS
NC – Not calculated     NS – No statistically significant change      Arrow pointing up –Statistically significant increase      Arrow pointing down – Statistically significant decrease
1 Population estimates are not sample derived and are not subject to statistical testing. Change between years identifies differences in the proportionate size of these estimates as rounded.
2 Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.
3 Coverage with the full Hib vaccine series increased in 2010, suggesting that children received a booster as supplies became adequate starting in July 2009.
4 Estimate is considered unstable (relative standard error is greater than 30 percent but less than 40 percent).
5 School refers to high school and college.
6 Statistical significance tests not calculated due to methodological changes.