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America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2017

Structure of the Report

America's Children presents a set of key indicators that measure important aspects of children's lives and are collected regularly, reliably, and rigorously by Federal agencies. In determining this list of key indicators, the Forum carefully examined the available data and sought input from the Federal policymaking community, foundations, academic researchers, and state and local children's service providers. These indicators were chosen because they meet the following criteria:

  • Easy to understand by broad audiences;
  • Objectively based on reliable data with substantial research connecting them to child well-being;
  • Balanced, so that no single area of children's lives dominates the report;
  • Measured regularly, so that they can be updated and show trends over time; and
  • Representative of large segments of the population, rather than one particular group.

America's Children is designed as a gateway to acquaint readers with the concepts found in other, more technical or more comprehensive reports produced by various Forum agencies. The report provides not only the selected indicators of child well-being but extensive supplementary information as well. Appendix A, Detailed Tables, presents additional data not discussed in the main body of the report. Appendix B, Data Source Descriptions, describes the sources and surveys used to generate the data.

In addition, this year's report contains a special feature, Peer Victimization in the 3rd Grade. This special feature uses teacher- and student-reported data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011) 3rd-grade collection to describe student victimization of peers at school and is produced by the National Center for Education Statistics.