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

Conceptual Framework

There are many interrelated aspects of children's well-being. This report identifies seven major domains that characterize the well-being of a child and influence the likelihood that a child will grow to be a well-educated, economically secure, productive, and healthy adult. The seven domains are family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. These domains are interrelated and can have synergistic effects on well-being.

Each section of the report corresponds to one of the seven domains and includes a set of key national indicators. These indicators either characterize an aspect of well-being or an influence on well-being.

  • Family and Social Environment includes indicators that characterize children's family lives and social settings.
  • Economic Circumstances includes indicators related to children's basic material needs.
  • Health Care includes indicators that characterize access to and the use of health services among children.
  • Physical Environment and Safety includes indicators that characterize children's environmental conditions or are related to children's safety.
  • Behavior includes indicators that characterize personal behaviors and their effects.
  • Education includes indicators that characterize how children learn and progress in school.
  • Health includes indicators that characterize the physical, mental, and social aspects of children's health.