Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 27, 2023
For more information contact:
Traci Cook
Children's Forum Staff Director
Phone: (301) 458-4082

Release of America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2023

New report features latest federal statistics on the well-being of children and families in the United States: Increases in the percentages of children living with at least one parent employed year-round, full-time and children read to 3 or more times in the last week.

The America's Children 2023 full report updates all 41 indicators of well-being across seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

This year's publication highlights an increase in the percentage of children, ages 0–17, living with at least one parent employed year-round, full-time and an increase in the percentages of children, ages 3–5, who were read to 3 or more times in the last week.

Secure parental employment is a major factor in the financial well-being of families. One measure of secure parental employment is the percentage of children whose resident parent or parents were employed full time throughout a given year. The percentage of children who had at least one parent working year-round, full time, increased from 72% in 2020 to 77% in 2021.

The percentage of young children read to 3 or more times per week by a family member is one indicator of how well children are being prepared for school. In 2019, 85% of children ages 3–5 were read to 3 or more times per week, up from 81% in 2016.

New to this year's report is an indicator modification highlighting the prevalence of disability among children ages 5–17. Children with disabilities may be disproportionately exposed to risk factors that can affect their survival and development, such as poverty, stigma and discrimination, institutionalization, abuse and neglect, and limited access to services, programs, and educational opportunities. In 2020–2021, 13% of children ages 5–17 were reported to have disability.

Other highlights from this year's report include:

  • Family and Social Environment: The percentage of births to unmarried women of all ages decreased from 41% in 2011 to 40% in 2018 and then remained stable through 2021 at 41%.
  • Health Care: In 2020, 89% of children ages 5–17 had a dental visit in the past year, down from 91% in 2019.
  • Physical Environment and Safety: The death rate among children ages 5–14 increased from 13.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2011 to 14.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2021. In 2021, the death rate for adolescents ages 15–19 was 62 per 100,000, 13 points higher than the death rate in 2011 (49 deaths per 100,000).
  • Behavior: The percentage of high school students reporting ever having had sexual intercourse declined to 30% in 2021.
  • Health: The percentage of infants born preterm increased from 9.6% in 2014 to 10.5% in 2021. The percentage of infants born with low birthweight increased from 8% in 2011 to 9% in 2021.

This report is published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics and is posted on