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America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2021

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 73.1 million (2019) 72.8 million (2020) Arrow pointing down
Children as a percentage of the population1
Children ages 0–17 in the United States 22.3% (2019) 22.1% (2020) Arrow pointing down
Racial and ethnic composition1
Children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin2
White, non-Hispanic 49.9% (2019) 49.6% (2020) Arrow pointing down
Black, non-Hispanic 13.7% (2019) 13.7% (2020) NS
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic 0.8% (2019) 0.8% (2020) NS
Asian, non-Hispanic 5.4% (2019) 5.4% (2020) NS
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic 0.2% (2019) 0.2% (2020) NS
Two or more races, non-Hispanic 4.5% (2019) 4.6% (2020) Arrow pointing up
Hispanic 25.4% (2019) 25.6% (2020) Arrow pointing up
open Family and Social Environment
Family structure and children's living arrangements
Children ages 0–17 living with two married parents 65.8% (2019) 66.6% (2020) Arrow pointing up
Births to unmarried women
Births to unmarried women ages 15–44 40.1 per 1,000 (2018) 39.9 per 1,000 (2019) Arrow pointing down
Births that are to unmarried women among all births 39.6% (2018) 40.0% (2019) Arrow pointing up
Child care
Children ages 3–5, not yet enrolled in kindergarten with employed mothers, whose primary child care arrangement was nonparental care on a regular basis 85% (2016) 86% (2019) NS
Children ages 3–5, not yet enrolled in kindergarten with employed mothers, who were in center-based care arrangements for any amount of time 70% (2016) 69% (2019) NS
Children of at least one foreign-born parent
Children ages 0–17 living with at least one foreign-born parent 26% (2018) 25% (2020) Arrow pointing down
Language spoken at home and difficulty speaking English
Children ages 5–17 who speak a language other than English at home 23% (2018) 23% (2019) NS
Children ages 5–17 who speak a language other than English at home and who have difficulty speaking English 4% (2018) 4% (2019) NS
Adolescent births
Births to females ages 15–17 7.2 per 1,000 (2018) 6.7 per 1,000 (2019) Arrow pointing down
Child maltreatment1
Substantiated reports of maltreatment of children ages 0–17 9.2 per 1,000 (2018) 8.9 per 1,000 (2019) Arrow pointing down
open Economic Circumstances
Child poverty and family income
Children ages 0–17 in poverty 16.2% (2018) 14.4% (2019) Arrow pointing down
Children living in families with medium income 6.9% (2018) 6.2% (2019) Arrow pointing down
Secure parental employment
Children ages 0–17 living with at least one parent employed year-round, full time 79.3% (2018) 80.2% (2019) Arrow pointing up
Food insecurity
Children ages 0–17 in households classified by USDA as "food insecure" 15% (2018) 15% (2019) NS
open Health Care
Health insurance coverage
Children ages 0–17 who were uninsured at time of interview 5% (2018) 5%3 (2019) NC
Usual source of health care
Children ages 0–17 with no usual source of health care 5% (2018) 3%3 (2019) NC
Immunization
Children ages 24 months with the combined 7-vaccine series 68% (2015) 70% (2016) NS
Oral health
Children ages 5–17 with a dental visit in the past year 91% (2018) 91%3 (2019) NC
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 64.1% (2018) 50.5% (2019) Arrow pointing down
Secondhand smoke
Children ages 4–11 with any detectable blood cotinine level, a measure for recent exposure to secondhand smoke 37% (2015–2016) 36% (2017–2018) NS
Drinking water quality
Children served by community water systems that did not meet all applicable health-based drinking water standards 9% (2018) 8% (2019) NS
Lead in the blood of children
Children ages 1–5 with blood lead greater than or equal to 5 µg/dL 2.6% (2007–2010) 0.9% (2013–2016) Arrow pointing down
Housing problems
Households with children ages 0–17 reporting shelter cost burden, crowding, and/or physically inadequate housing 39% (2017) 38% (2019) Arrow pointing down
Youth victims of serious violent crimes
Serious violent crime victimization of youth ages 12–17 6 per 1,000 (2018) 6 per 1,000 (2019) NS
Child injury and mortality
Injury deaths of children ages 1–4 10.2 per 100,000 (2018) 9.5 per 100,000 (2019) Arrow pointing down
Injury deaths of children ages 5–14 6 per 100,000 (2018) 6 per 100,000 (2019) NS
Adolescent injury and mortality
Injury deaths of adolescents ages 15–19 37 per 100,000 (2018) 37 per 100,000 (2019) NS
open Behavior
Regular cigarette smoking
Students who reported smoking daily in the past 30 days
8th grade 1% (2018) 1% (2019) NS
10th grade 2% (2018) 1% (2019) NS
12th grade 4% (2018) 2% (2019) Arrow pointing down
Alcohol use
Students who reported having five or more alcoholic beverages in a row in the past 2 weeks
8th grade 4% (2018) 4% (2019) NS
10th grade 9% (2018) 9% (2019) NS
12th grade 14% (2018) 14% (2019) NS
Illicit drug use
Students who reported using illicit drugs in the past 30 days
8th grade 7% (2018) 9% (2019) NS
10th grade 18% (2018) 20% (2019) NS
12th grade 24% (2018) 24% (2019)
Sexual activity
High school students who reported ever having had sexual intercourse 40% (2017) 38% (2019) NS
Youth perpetrators of serious violent crimes
Youth offenders ages 12–17 involved in serious violent crimes 8 per 1,000 (2018) 6 per 1,000 (2019) NS
open Education
Family reading to young children
Children ages 3–5 who were read to three or more times in the last week 81% (2016) 85% (2019) Arrow pointing up
Mathematics and reading achievement
Average mathematics scale score of
4th graders (0–500 scale) 240 (2017) 241 (2019) Arrow pointing up
8th graders (0–500 scale) 283 (2017) 282 (2019) Arrow pointing down
12th graders (0–300 scale) 152 (2015) 150 (2019) NS
Average reading scale score of
4th graders (0–500 scale) 222 (2017) 220 (2019) Arrow pointing down
8th graders (0–500 scale) 267 (2017) 263 (2019) Arrow pointing down
12th graders (0–500 scale) 287 (2015) 285 (2019) Arrow pointing down
High school completion
Young adults ages 18–24 who have completed high school 94% (2018) 94% (2019) NS
Youth neither enrolled in school4 nor working
Youth ages 16–19 who are neither enrolled in school nor working 8% (2019) 10% (2020) Arrow pointing up
College enrollment
Recent high school completers enrolled in college the October immediately after completing high school 69% (2018) 66% (2019) NS
open Health
Preterm birth and low birthweight
Infants less than 37 completed weeks of gestation at birth 10.0% (2018) 10.2% (2019) Arrow pointing up
Infants weighing less than 5 lb 8 oz at birth 8% (2018) 8% (2019) NS
Infant mortality
Deaths before first birthday 5.8 per 1,000 (2017) 5.7 per 1,000 (2018) Arrow pointing down
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 6% (2018) 6%3 (2019) NC
Adolescent depression
Youth ages 12–17 with past-year major depressive episode 14% (2018) 16% (2019) Arrow pointing up
Activity limitation
Children ages 5–17 with activity limitation resulting from one or more chronic health conditions 11% (2017) 10% (2018) NS
Obesity
Children ages 6–17 who had obesity 20% (2011–2014) 20% (2015–2018) NS
Asthma
Children ages 0–17 who currently have asthma 8% (2018) 7%3 (2019) NC
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 thus not subject to statistical testing. Change between years identifies differences in the proportionate size of these estimates.
2 Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.
3 Caution: Due to survey redesign, 2019 estimates should not be compared with data from earlier years.
4 School refers to high school and college.