Thursday, August 18, 2011

New KIDS COUNT Data Book!

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released their 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book this week. KIDS COUNT profiles the status of children on a national and state-by-state basis and ranks states on 10 measures of child well-being. The 2011 Data Book includes the most current information about 10 key measures of child well-being, which the A.E.C. Foundation has tracked over the last twenty years, and hundreds of other indicators of child well-being by state, county, city, and congressional district. According to the data released in the annual Data Book, over the last decade there has been a significant decline in economic well-being for low income children and families. Some of the related statistics highlighted in the report include:

  • In 2008, an estimated 11.9 million parents with children under age 18 lacked health insurance coverage.
  • In this country, children born to parents in the lowest fifth of the income scale are likely (42 percent) to end up there as adults.
  • By 2009, the percent of families with children who were asset poor had jumped to 37 percent.
  • Almost 11 percent of our nation’s children had at least one unemployed parent in 2010, affecting nearly 8 million children.
  • In 2009, 42 percent of children in the United States, or 31 million, lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line.

Accordingly, this year’s essay, America’s Children, America’s Challenge: Promoting Opportunity for the Next Generation, addresses the ways that children and families are faring in the wake of the recession and why it’s important to help children reach their full potential and become part of a robust economy and society.

The report’s data showed improvement on some indicators, but also showed the significant impact of the job and foreclosure crisis on children in the United States. For policymakers, this report suggests that there is a great deal of work to do to improve the circumstance for children, families and communities. The KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a number of great resources for policymakers as they continue that work including: customizable reports, research on best practices to improve child well being, and data within and across states, as well as many other useful features.