two paragraphs are enough

Description

Using the week’s readings as references, cite what you see as the five major human development challenges facing the African American community. Rank order these challenges from least to most critical and justify your top choice.

TWO PARAGRAPHS ARE ENOUGH

“HEALTH EQUALITY
FOR ALL”
OMHD
aims to accelerate CDC’s
health impact in the U.S.
population and to eliminate
health disparities for vulnerable
populations as defined by
race/ethnicity, socio-economic
status, geography, gender, age,
disability status, and risk status
related to sex and gender, and
among other populations identified
to be at-risk for health disparities.
http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/
OMHD@cdc.gov
(404) 498-2320
EXAMPLES OF DISPARITIES
According to the 2000 U.S. Census,
African Americans account for
13% of the U.S. population or 36.4 million
individuals.
Heart Disease and
Stroke:
In 2001, the age-adjusted death rate for
heart disease was 30.1% higher for
African Americans (316.9 per
100,000) than for white Americans (243.5).
The age-adjusted death rate for stroke
was 41.2% higher for African
Americans (78.8 per 100,000) than for
white Americans (55.8).
Adult Immunization:
HIV/AIDS:
While African Americans account for
13% of the U.S. population, they account
for more than 50% of all new HIV
infections reported in 2001.
Cancer:
In 2001, the age-adjusted death rate for all
cancers was 25.4% higher for
African Americans (243.1 per
100,000) than for white Americans (193.9).
Diabetes:
In 2001, the diabetes age-adjusted
death rate for African Americans
was more than twice that for white
Americans (49.2 per 100,000 vs. 23.0).
In 2001, influenza vaccination coverage
among adults 65 years of age and older
was 70.2% for whites and 52.0% for
African Americans. The gap for
pneumococcal vaccination coverage
among older adults was even wider,
with 60.6% for whites and 36.1% for
African Americans.
PROMISING STRATEGIES
HIV/AIDS:
Improve recognition of risk, detection
of infection, and referral to follow-up
care; assure proper treatment; and
counsel about avoiding risky
behaviors.
Cancer:
Modify lifestyles to reduce individual
risk for cancer — tobacco use, diet
and nutrition — and improve early
detection.
Heart Disease and Stroke:
Reduce risk factors for heart disease
and stroke morbidity, disability, and
mortality (i.e., high blood pressure,
high cholesterol, smoking tobacco,
excessive body weight, and physical
inactivity).
Adult Immunization:
Promote effective provider-based
intervention, increase community
demand, enhance access to services,
and encourage vaccination-related
efforts in non-medical settings.
Diabetes:
Reduce the rate of diabetes and its
complications among high-risk
populations, increase early detection
and treatment, and increase efforts
on diabetes self-management
through outreach and education.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Healthcare Providers
Advise and encourage clients to
reduce their risk for chronic and
infectious illnesses.
Community
Join with others to promote communitywide health activities and campaigns.
Ensure that standing orders are in place
for screening tests.
Form coalitions with civic, professional,
religious, and educational organizations
to advocate health policies, programs,
and services.
Advise seniors and medically
compromised clients to get
pneumococcal and influenza
vaccinations.
Support policies that promote healthcare access for all.
Conduct foot and kidney exams with
diabetic clients during routine healthcare visits and recommend eye exams
annually.
Provide culturally competent and
linguistically appropriate care.
Individuals
Think prevention — see a healthcare
provider annually, even if you feel
healthy.
Eat more fruits and vegetables and less
fat and sugar.
Get at least 30 minutes of physical
activity daily — taking the stairs burns 5
times more calories than taking the elevator.
Take loved ones to a healthcare
provider.
Stop smoking.
MORE INFORMATION
CDC’s Office of Minority Health and
Health Disparities (OMHD)
http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/Populations/BA
A/BAA.htm
(404) 498-2320
HHS’ Office of Minority Health
Resource Center (HHS OMHRC)
http://www.omhrc.gov/OMHRC/index.htm
(800) 444-6472
National Center on Minority Health
and Health Disparities (NCMHD)
http://ncmhd.nih.gov
(301) 402-1366 TTY: (301) 451-9532
FirstGOV
http://www.firstgov.gov
(800) FED-INFO (333-4636)
National Medical Association (NMA)
http://www.nmanet.org/
(202) 347-1895
National Black Nurses Association
(NBNA)
http://www.nbna.org/
(301) 589-3200
Disclaimer:
Please feel free to download and reproduce these brochures as
needed. However, users may not alter the text, graphics or format in
any way.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo featured on
these brochures may not be reproduced or used for any other
purpose
THE STATE OF
AMERICA’S CHILDREN
®
2014
CDF Mission Statement
The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy
Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to
adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot
vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor and minority
children and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and
encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer
family breakdown.
CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by foundation and corporate
grants and individual donations.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visiting poor families in Greenwood, Mississippi in July 1964. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier)
© 2014 Children’s Defense Fund. All rights reserved.
Front and back cover photos © Steve Liss • Inside photos © Dean Alexander Photography, Jane Rule Burdine and Steve Liss
ii • Children’s Defense Fund
Table of Contents
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Overview of The State of America’s Children 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Child Well-Being 50 Years After the Launch of War on Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Each Day in America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Moments in America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
How America Ranks Among Industrialized Countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Child Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Child Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Family Structure and Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Housing and Homelessness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Child Hunger and Nutrition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Child Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Early Childhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Child Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Juvenile Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Gun Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Appendix – Data Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
The creation, publication, and distribution of this report was underwritten by an endowment gift from the DeWitt WallaceReader’s Digest Fund.
Special Thanks to the Supportive Parents Information Network, Inc. (SPIN) for generously sharing some of the child stories
that appear in this report from their book, Journey to Our Dreams: Art & Stories of Low-Income Children in San Diego.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 1
Foreword
It’s Time to End Child Poverty in Rich America with Urgency and Persistence
Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope — some because of their poverty, and
some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair
with opportunity. This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in
America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort. It will not be a short
or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won.
The richest Nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.
— President Lyndon Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address
…[T]hey have become great and rich…they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan,…and
they do not defend the rights of the needy…shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this?
— Jeremiah 5:27-29
A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has no future,
because it abuses both its memory and its promise.
— Pope Francis
ifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the United States is still not a fair
playing field for millions of children afflicted by preventable poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, poor
education and violence in the world’s richest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $15.7 trillion.
F
Every fifth child (16.1 million) is poor, and every tenth child (7.1 million) is extremely poor. Children are the
poorest age group and the younger they are the poorer they are. Every fourth infant, toddler and preschool child
(5 million) is poor; 1 in 8 is extremely poor. A majority of our one- and two-year-olds are already children of
color. In five years children of color who are disproportionately poor, nearly 1 in 3, will be a majority of all
children in America and of our future workforce, military and consumers. But millions of them are unready for
school, poorly educated and unprepared to face the future. Nearly 60 percent of all our children and more than
80 percent of our Black and nearly 75 percent of our Latino children cannot read or compute at grade level in
fourth and eighth grade and so many drop out of school before graduating. Seventy-five percent of young
people ages 17-24 cannot get into the military because of poor literacy, health or prior incarceration.
The greatest threat to America’s economic, military and national security comes from no enemy without but
from our failure, unique among high income nations, to invest adequately and fairly in the health, education
and sound development of all of our young.
We call on President Obama and America’s political leaders in every party at every level to mount a long
overdue, unwavering, and persistent war to prevent and eliminate child poverty and finish the task President
Johnson and Dr. King began. Two- and three-year-olds have no politics and we must reject any leaders who for
any reason play political football with the lives of millions of our children and our nation’s future. If America is
to lead in the 21st century world, we must reset our economic and moral compass.
While remembering that children do not come in pieces and that hunger, homelessness, violence, and parental
attention all affect childhood well-being, building on best practices and sound research about the crucial importance
of early childhood development, the first step to prevent and alleviate indefensible and costly child poverty is to
2 • Children’s Defense Fund
build a quality early childhood continuum of care from birth through age 5 so that every child, regardless of the
circumstances of birth or lottery of geography, is ready for school and has a fair chance to reach their God-given
potential. We know if we properly support children in their early years of rapid brain development, not only will
they benefit, but so will all America. This is not only the just but the smart and cost-effective thing to do. Nobel
laureate economist James Heckman estimates a lifelong economic rate of return of 7 to 10 percent each year for
every dollar invested in quality early childhood programs. Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben
Bernanke told CDF conference attendees in 2012: “Very few alternative investments can promise that kind of
return. Notably, a portion of these economic returns accrues to the children themselves and their families, but
studies show that the rest of society enjoys the majority of the benefits, reflecting the many contributions that
skills and productive workers make to the economy.” And MIT Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow in his
foreword to a 1994 CDF report Wasting America’s Future was prescient when he wrote: “For many years
Americans have allowed child poverty levels to remain astonishingly high — higher than for American adults;
higher than for children in nations that are our competitors; higher than from the entire period of the late 1960s
and 1970s, a period when we had less wealth as a nation than we do now; and far higher than one would think
a rich and ethical society would tolerate. The justification, when one is offered at all, has often been that action
is expensive: ‘We have more will than wallet.’ I suspect that in fact our wallets exceed our will, but in any event
this concern for the drain on our resources completely misses the other side of the equation: Inaction has its
costs too…As an economist I believe that good things are worth paying for; and that even if curing children’s
poverty were expensive, it would be hard to think of a better use in the world for money. If society cares about
children, it should be willing to spend money on them.”
If America’s dream continues to fade for millions of poor, near poor and middle class children and families; work and
wages continue to decline; and education and basic survival needs — including adequate food and housing —
continue to be ravaged to protect the powerful interests of the top 1 percent that has cornered 22 percent of the
nation’s income, then America will miss the boat to the future. More importantly, we will miss a great opportunity
to show the world a living and just society in a majority non-White and poor world desperately in need of
moral example.
To those who claim our nation cannot afford to prevent our children from going hungry and homeless and prepare
all our children for school, I say we cannot afford not to. If the foundation of your house is crumbling you must
fix it. Education is a lot cheaper than ignorance. Preschool education is a bargain compared to prison and we
should be ashamed that America is the largest incarcerator in the world. And consider how many good jobs a
quality universal early care system would provide at a time of rampant unemployment and declining wages.
A quality universal pre-K system (and I hope kindergarten system) is a win-win for everyone.
After Dr. King’s assassination riots and looting broke out in cities across America including Washington, D.C.
where I had moved from Mississippi to help prepare for Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign. I went into schools
to talk to children to tell them not to loot and jeopardize their futures. A young Black boy about 12 looked me
in the eye and said “Lady, what future? I ain’t got no future. I ain’t got nothing to lose.”
The Children’s Defense Fund has spent the last 40 years trying to prove that boy’s truth wrong in our economically
and militarily powerful and spiritually poor nation. And we will never stop until we succeed. It’s time to give
him and the 16.1 million poor children like him today a fair chance to succeed and to keep Dr. King’s dream —
America’s dream — for him and the millions like him alive.
In faith and hope,
Marian Wright Edelman
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 3
Overview
Overview of The State of America’s Children 2014
The U.S. is reaching a tipping point in racial and ethnic diversity.
• For the first time the majority of children in America under age 2 were children of color in 2012 as were
the majority of all children in 10 states — Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland,
Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas — and the District of Columbia. By 2019, the majority
of all children nationwide are expected to be children of color.
• Over one-third of children of color under 2 were poor in 2012 during years of rapid brain development.
Child poverty has reached record levels.
• One in 5 children — 16.1 million — was poor in 2012.
• More than 7.1 million children — over 40 percent of poor children — lived in extreme poverty at less than
half the poverty level. For a family of four this means $11,746 a year, $979 a month, $226 a week and
$32 a day or $8 a person.
• The youngest most vulnerable children were the poorest age group. Over 1 in 4 children under age 5 —
nearly 5 million — were poor. Almost half of them — 2.4 million — were extremely poor.
Children of color are disproportionately poor.
• Nearly 1 in 3 children of color — 11.2 million children — was poor and more than 1 in 3 children of
color under age 5 — 3.5 million — were poor.
• Black children were the poorest (39.6 percent) followed by American Indian/Native Alaskan children
(36.8 percent) and Hispanic children (33.7 percent).
• In six states — Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin — half or more Black
children were poor and nearly half the states had Black child poverty rates of 40 percent or more.
• The largest group of poor children was Hispanic children (5.8 million) followed by White children
(5.2 million) and Black children (4.1 million).
Children in single-parent families and Southern families are at greatest risk of poverty.
• Children in single-parent families were nearly four times more likely to be poor than children in marriedcouple families in 2012. Although almost 70 percent of all children lived with two parents in 2013, more
than half of Black children and nearly 1 in 3 Hispanic children lived with only one parent compared to
1 in 5 White children.
• The South had the highest child poverty rate with 1 in 4 Southern children poor compared to 1 in 5 in
the rest of the country.
• Child poverty rates were highest in cities (29.1 percent) followed by rural areas and small towns
(26.7 percent) but nearly 2 in 5 poor children lived in suburbs.
Child poverty creates unacceptable child homelessness and hunger.
• Nearly 1.2 million public school students were homeless in 2011-2012, 73 percent more than before
the recession.
• More than 1 in 9 children lacked access to adequate food in 2012, a rate 23 percent higher than before
the recession.
• In an average month in FY2011, 1.2 million households with children had no cash income and depended
only on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to stave off hunger.
4 • Children’s Defense Fund
• Eighty-nine percent of children who relied on free or reduced-price lunch during the school year did not
receive meals through the Summer Food Service Program in 2012.
Government safety nets lifted millions of children out of poverty.
• Government safety net programs lifted 9 million children from poverty in 2012 including 5.3 million
children through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit and 2.2 million
through SNAP.
• Child poverty would have been 57 percent higher in 2012 without government tax credits and food,
housing, and energy benefits. Extreme child poverty would have been 240 percent higher.
Income and wealth inequalities are shockingly high.
• The top 1 percent of earners received 22.5 percent of the nation’s income in 2012, more than double
their share in 1964 and equal to levels last seen in the 1920s.
• The average wealth of White households in 2011 ($110,500) was 14 times that of Hispanic households
($7,683), and 17 times that of Black households ($6,314).
Working families are struggling.
• Employment does not guarantee an above-poverty income: more than two-thirds of poor children lived
in families where one or more family member worked.
• In no state could an individual working full-time at the minimum wage afford the fair market rent
for a two-bedroom rental unit and have had enough for food, utilities and other necessities in 2013.
A person would have needed to work more than two-and-a-half full-time minimum-wage jobs to afford
a two-bedroom fair market rental.
Lack of investments deprives children of critical supports in the early years.
• Less than half of 3- and 4-year olds were enrolled in preschool in 2009-2011.
• Early Head Start funding served only 4 percent of the 2.9 million eligible poor infants and toddlers
on any given day in FY2012 and Head Start funding served only 41 percent of the 2 million eligible
poor 3- and 4-year olds.
The nation’s schools fail to prepare millions of children in greatest need.
• Nearly 60 percent of all fourth and eighth grade public school students and more than 80 percent of
Black and almost 75 percent of Hispanic children in these grades could not read or compute at grade
level in 2013.
• Only 78 percent of students graduated from public high school in four years in 2010. That rate was 66
percent for Black students, 69 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students and 71 percent for
Hispanic students.
• Over half a million public school students dropped out of grades 9-12 during the 2009-2010 school year.
This will cost taxpayers in the future billions of dollars a year in added benefits and services and foregone
income tax revenue.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 5
Overview
• Black and Hispanic households with children were more than twice as likely as White households to lack
access to adequate food in 2012.
Overview
• In only 11 states and the District of Columbia are school districts required by law to offer full-day
kindergarten to all eligible students, although 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted
Common Core State Standards that assume districts are offering a full day of kindergarten.
• Alaska was the only state in the nation to equitably fund education by spending 40 percent more for
each student in its poorest school districts than its richest in 2007-2008, the most recent year of data.
Thirteen states spent more on students in their richest districts than their poorest districts.
Ninety-five percent of all children now have access to health coverage although access does
not ensure they will be enrolled.
• The percent of uninsured children in America has decreased 40 percent since 1997 thanks to Medicaid
and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provided health coverage to 44 million
children under 19 (57 percent of all children) in FY2012.
• The unjust lottery of geography left more than 7.2 million children under 19 uninsured in 2012: 1 in 7
Hispanic children, 1 in 11 Black children and 1 in 15 White children. Nearly 70 percent of them were
eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled.
• Forty percent of children who needed mental health services did not receive them in 2011-2012.
• Family health care costs pushed more than 2 million children into poverty in 2012.
Many vulnerable children need treatment, services and permanent families.
• A child is abused or neglected every 47 seconds. Infants and toddlers are most likely to be victims of
abuse and neglect.
• Nearly 40 percent of children who are abused or neglected receive no post-investigation services and many
more receive far fewer services than they need.
• In 2012, 101,719 children in foster care were waiting to be adopted. More than 23,000 youth aged
out of foster care at 18 or older without being returned home, adopted or placed with a permanent
legal guardian.
• 4,028 children are arrested each day — one every 21 seconds and 1,790 children are serving sentences
in adult prisons.
Guns kill or injure a child or teen every half hour.
• In 2010, 2,694 children and teens were killed by guns and 15,576 were injured by guns. Guns killed
more infants, toddlers and preschoolers than law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
• U.S. children and teens are 17 times more likely to die from gun violence than their peers in 25 other
high-income countries.
• Since 1963, three times as many children and teens have died from guns on American soil than U.S.
soldiers killed in action in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
• Gun violence disproportionately affects children of color. In 2010, Black children and teens were nearly
five times and Hispanic children and teens were more than three times more likely to be killed by guns
than White children and teens.
• United States military and law enforcement agencies possess 4 million guns. U.S. civilians have 310 million.
Every year American companies manufacture enough bullets to fire 31 rounds into every one of our
citizens.
6 • Children’s Defense Fund
When They Take Away Your Car, You Don’t Have As Much Food
My dad did not have enough money to buy his car license. So the cop took his car
away. He can’t drive anymore. Now it is harder for him to get to work, and sometimes
he is late. So he does not get as much money as he used to get. Now we have to go
walking everywhere.
We get tired. Our life is harder. We can’t get as much food. Sometimes my mom
has only beans, and I don’t like beans so I just don’t eat. Sometimes I get hungry.
It’s harder for me to go to sleep and I’m tired in the morning.
When I grow up, I was thinking to be a doctor, But now I think that I won’t be able
to do anything, because I won’t even have food or shelter.
— Alan, age 10
Six People, Five Eat
There are six people in our family.
But only five sit down to dinner.
That’s because my mom doesn’t eat.
She wants to make sure we have enough food.
— Vanessa, age 6
Daydreaming on the Bus
Once we lived in a big, big place, my mom and my sisters and me. I was little. I carried
my backpack everywhere. All my things were in it. It was hard to get good food.
Eating is a word I hate the most. I don’t like donuts. I don’t like candy. Once I tried
candy, and it was disgusting. I don’t like chocolate either. I like broccoli and carrots
and healthy things. My mom tries hard to get them for us. We live in a house now.
I am happy.
— Josh, age 6
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 7
Overview
A Sad Story
A shopping cart was my first crib.
My sister and me.
Our home was on the street.
Finally under a roof.
Two beds for six.
No is always on our minds. No running, no jumping, no fun.
— Shanika, age 5
Overview
Preventable Costs
• Child poverty costs the nation at least $500 billion each year in extra education, health and
criminal justice costs and in lost productivity.
• Child abuse and neglect cost the U.S. $80.3 billion each year in direct costs and lost productivity.
A single case of nonfatal child abuse and neglect costs $210,012 over a lifetime, and a case of
fatal child abuse and neglect $1.27 million, mostly due to lost productivity.
• Gun deaths and injuries cost the U.S. $174.1 billion each year, or 1.15 percent of our total gross
domestic product (GDP).
• Racial and ethnic health disparities cost the U.S. an estimated $1.24 trillion in medical costs and
lost productivity between 2003 and 2006.
• The high school students who dropped out of the class of 2011 will cost the nation’s economy an
estimated $154 billion in lost income over the course of their lifetimes.
• The gap between Black and Hispanic compared to White high school achievement in 1998 cost
the U.S. $310 to $525 billion in lost GDP by 2008 and the income achievement gap cost $400
to $670 billion.
• The achievement gap between American students and those in top-performing countries like Finland
and Korea in 1998 cost the nation $1.3 to $2.3 trillion in 2008 or 9 to 16 percent of GDP.
We Can Afford to Do Better
• The amount the U.S. spends per minute on corporate tax breaks would pay the salary of 16 child
care workers. More than 220,000 children are currently on waiting lists for child care assistance.
Expanding child care increases poor mothers’ work participation.
• Three days’ worth of the amount the U.S. spends on corporate tax breaks would provide a whole year’s
worth of SNAP food assistance for the estimated 737,000 children who don’t have enough food.
• The amount the U.S. spends a year on corporate tax breaks for private jets would pay the salary
of 6,400 high school teachers.
• All poor infants and toddlers could have been served by Early Head Start if the government
diverted just 18 days of defense spending. Currently only about 4 percent of eligible children reap
the benefits of this high quality early learning experience. Quality early education programs
return 7 to 10 percent a year for every dollar invested.
• More than 17,500 low-income children could enroll in Head Start for a year for the cost of just
one F-35 fighter jet among the nearly 2,500 the Department of Defense is scheduled to buy.
8 • Children’s Defense Fund
“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to
carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin
with the children.”
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
“We owe our children — the most vulnerable citizens in
any society — a life free from violence and fear.”
“We would like to create a world familiar with the smiles
of children rather than their tears.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
to change the world.”
— Nelson Mandela
“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can
have three meals a day for their bodies, education and
culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom
for their spirits.”
“Let us march on poverty until no American parent has to
skip a meal so that their children may eat. March on
poverty until no starved man walks the streets of our cities
and towns in search of jobs that do not exist.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The State of America’s Children®® 2014 • 9
Child Well-Being 50 Years After the Launch of War on Poverty
I
n 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in his State of the Union Address.
Fifty years later, how have American children fared?
Fair Start: Rich Get Richer While Working Families Struggle
• In 2012, child poverty was 5 percent lower than in 1964 but 64 percent higher than the lowest
recorded level — 14 percent in 1969 — and 21 percent higher than before the recession.
The Black-White ratio for child poverty decreased 26 percent from 1964 to 2012. Black children
remained three times more likely than White children to be poor in 2012.
• Taking into account government benefits, child poverty and child extreme poverty were cut by over
a third from 1967 to 2012.
• Income inequality has increased dramatically. The top 1 percent of earners received 22.5 percent
of the nation’s income in 2012, more than double their share in 1964 and equal to levels last seen
in the 1920s.
• The federal minimum wage is now worth 22 percent less in inflation-adjusted terms than in 1964.
In no state can an individual working full-time at the minimum wage afford the fair market rent
for a two-bedroom rental unit and have enough for food, utilities and other necessities.
Head Start: Progress and Peril
• The percent of children living in single-parent households more than doubled between 1964 and
2012 and in 2012 children in single-parent families were nearly four times more likely to be poor
than children in married-couple families. While the Black-White ratio decreased 35 percent,
Black children are more than twice as likely as White children to live with only one parent.
• Teen births have been cut nearly in half since 1970 and the Black-White ratio has decreased by a
quarter since 1980. The U.S. teen birth rate is the second highest among industrialized countries.
• The percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool or kindergarten more than quintupled
between 1964 and 2012.
• There are 19 percent more high school graduates and 162 percent more college graduates and
Black-White gaps have decreased substantially. However, a majority of fourth and eighth graders
remained unable to read or compute at grade level in 2013 and there are large achievement gaps by
income and race. School segregation by race and income continues to be the norm.
Healthy Start: Important Gains but More to Do
• Infant mortality decreased three-quarters between 1964 and 2011 but the Black-White ratio grew
14 percent since 1980. In 2011 Black babies were more than twice as likely to die as White babies.
The U.S. infant mortality rate remains one of the highest among industrialized nations.
Safe Start: Children Losing a War at Home
• Gun deaths of children and teens increased 31 percent between 1964 and 2010, and the BlackWhite ratio more than doubled leaving Black children and teens nearly five times more likely than
White children and teens to be killed by a gun in 2010.
10 • Children’s Defense Fund
Changes in Key Child and National Well-Being Indicators From 1964 to 2012
Green indicates improvements, grey indicates changes for the worse.
FAIR START
Overall
1964
2012
Child poverty
23.0%
21.8%
5 percent decrease
1964
2012
4.2:1
3.1:1
26 percent decrease
Child poverty taking
into account government
benefits
29.4**
18.7
36 percent decrease
8.9**
5.4
39 percent decrease
10.5
22.5
114 percent increase
5.2
8.1
56 percent increase
Minimum wage (in 2013 dollars)
$9.31
$7.25
22 percent decrease
Percent of children living with
one parent
12%
28%
139 percent increase
3.6:1
2.4:1
35 percent decrease
Teen births
(per 1,000 females ages 15-19)
68.3
31.3**
47 percent decrease
2.2:1
1.6:1**
25 percent decrease
9.5
53.5
463 percent increase
1.1:1
0.9:1
Still not equal
High school graduates
among ages 18-24
68.1
81.3
19 percent increase
0.6:1
0:9:1
45 percent decrease
College graduates among
ages 25-29
12.8
33.5
162 percent increase
0.4:1
0.7:1
67 percent decrease
77%**
74%**
4 percent decrease
6.1**
76 percent decrease
2.0:1** 2.2:1**
14 percent increase
3.24**
31 percent increase
2.3:1
111 percent increase
Child extreme poverty
taking into account
government benefits
Income share of top 1
percent
HEAD START
Unemployment rate
(ages 16 and older)
Percent of 3- and 4-year olds
enrolled in preschool and
kindergarten
HEALTHY
START
Percent of Black students
attending schools with more
than 50 percent children
of color
SAFE
START
Black-White Gap*
Infant mortality
(per 1,000 live births)
Child and teen gun deaths
(per 100,000
children and teens)
24.8
2.47
Change
4.8:1
Change
*The Black-White gap is the ratio of Black rate and the White rate. We are using this to assess progress made towards all children having the same
chance to succeed regardless of race. These two groups are the ones compared because they are the ones for whom the most historical data are
available.
**Data for 1964 or 2012 were not available so the closest available years were used. For child poverty and extreme poverty after government benefits
1967 was used instead of 1964, for teen births: 2011 was used instead of 2012, for segregation: 1968/69 to 2009/10 were used, for infant mortality
2011 was used instead of 2012 and 1980 was used for the Black: White ratio instead of 1964, for gun deaths 2010 was used instead of 2012.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 11
Each Day in America for All Children
2
4
5
7
24
66
187
408
838
847
865
1,241
1,392
1,837
2,723
2,857
4,028
4,408
16,244
mothers die in childbirth.
children are killed by abuse or neglect.
children or teens commit suicide.
children or teens are killed by guns.
children or teens die from accidents.
babies die before their first birthdays.
children are arrested for violent crimes.
children are arrested for drug crimes.
public school students are corporally punished.*
babies are born to teen mothers.
babies are born at low birthweight.
babies are born without health insurance.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
babies are born into poverty.
high school students drop out.*
children are arrested.
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
public school students are suspended.*
*Based on 180 school days a year.
See Endnotes for citations.
Each Day in America for White Children
1
1
2
4
15
30
88
303
331
345
404
407
633
737
805
1,066
1,718
2,645
5,233
mother dies in childbirth.
child is killed by abuse or neglect.
children or teens are killed by guns.
children or teens commit suicide.
children or teens die from accidents.
babies die before their first birthdays.
children are arrested for violent crimes.
children are arrested for drug crimes.
babies are born to teen mothers.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
public school students are corporally punished.*
babies are born at low birthweight.
babies are born without health insurance.
babies are born into poverty.
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
high school students drop out.*
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
children are arrested.
public school students are suspended.*
*Based on 180 school days a year.
See Endnotes for citations.
12 • Children’s Defense Fund
Each Day in America for Hispanic Children*
1
1
1
4
13
56
173
285
399
408
595
834
1,153
1,330
3,453
child is killed by abuse or neglect.
child or teen commits suicide.
child or teen is killed by guns.
children or teens die from accidents.
babies die before their first birthdays.
public school students are corporally punished.**
babies are born at low birthweight.
babies are born to teen mothers.
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
babies are born without health insurance.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
high school students drop out.**
babies are born into poverty.
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
public school students are suspended.**
*Some of the indicators for Each Day in America are not available for Hispanic children.
**Based on 180 school days a year.
See Endnotes for citations.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 13
Each Day in America for Black Children
1
1
1
3
4
19
95
95
104
199
211
310
336
384
597
763
1,153
1,274
6,191
mother dies in childbirth.
child is killed by abuse or neglect.
child or teen commits suicide.
children or teens are killed by guns.
children or teens die from accidents.
babies die before their first birthdays.
children are arrested for violent crimes.
children are arrested for drug crimes.
babies are born without health insurance.
babies are born to teen mothers.
babies are born at low birthweight.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
public school students are corporally punished.*
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
babies are born into poverty.
high school students drop out.*
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
children are arrested.
public school students are suspended.*
*Based on 180 school days a year.
See Endnotes for citations.
14 • Children’s Defense Fund
Each Day in America for Asian and Pacific Islander Children Combined*
1
2
2
5
15
19
38
49
55
61
66
81
128
189
public school student is corporally punished.**
children are arrested for violent crimes.
babies die before their first birthdays.
children are arrested for drug crimes.
babies are born to teen mothers.
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
babies are born without health insurance.
children are arrested.
babies are born at low birthweight.
babies are born into poverty.
high school students drop out.**
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
public school students are suspended.**
*Some of the indicators for Each Day in America are not available for Asian/Pacific Islander children.
**Based on 180 school days a year
See Endnotes for citations.
Each Day in America for American Indian and Alaska Native Children Combined*
1
1
2
5
10
11
18
19
21
33
44
54
67
84
129
child or teen dies from an accident.
baby dies before his or her first birthday.
children are arrested for violent crimes.
children are arrested for drug crimes.
babies are born at low birthweight.
public school students are corporally punished.**
babies are born to teen mothers.
babies are born without health insurance.
children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
babies are born into extreme poverty.
babies are born into poverty.
children are arrested.
high school students drop out.**
babies are born to unmarried mothers.
public school students are suspended.**
*Some of the indicators for Each Day in America are not available for American Indian/Alaska Native children.
**Based on 180 school days a year
See Endnotes for citations.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 15
Moments in America for Children, by Race/Ethnicity
All Children
73,728,088
100%
White
38,906,280
53%
Public school student suspended*
Every 2 seconds
Every 5 seconds
High school student drops out*
Every 9 seconds
Every 24 seconds
Child arrested
Every 21 seconds
Every 33 seconds
Baby born to an unmarried mother
Every 20 seconds
Every 50 seconds
Public school student corporally punished*
Every 30 seconds
Every minute
Child confirmed abused or neglected
Every 47 seconds
Every 2 minutes
Baby born into poverty
Every 32 seconds
Every 2 minutes
Baby born into extreme poverty
Every 62 seconds
Every 4 minutes
Baby born without health insurance
Every 70 seconds
Every 2.5 minutes
Baby born to teen mother
Every 1.5 minutes
Every 4.5 minutes
Baby born at low birthweight
Every 1.5 minutes
Every 3.5 minutes
Child arrested for drug offense
Every 3.5 minutes
Every 5 minutes
Child arrested for violent offense
Every 8 minutes
Every 16 minutes
Baby dies before first birthday
Every 22 minutes
Every 48 minutes
Every hour
Every 2 hours
Every 3 hours and 15 minutes
Every 10 hours
Child or teen commits suicide
Every 4.5 hours
Every 7 hours
Child killed by abuse or neglect
Every 5.5 hours
Every 18 hours
Mother dies from complications of childbirth
or pregnancy
Every 11 hours
Every 22 hours
Number of Children
Percent of the Child Population
Child or teen dies from an accident
Child or teen killed by guns
*Based on 180 school days a year
See Endnotes for citations.
Where possible, race categories (White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native) do not include Hispanic children.
16 • Children’s Defense Fund
Moments in America for Children, by Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic
17,597,432
24%
Black
10,239,448
14%
Asian/
Pacific Islander
3,498,867
5%
American Indian/
Alaska Native
638,683
1%
Every 7 seconds
Every 4 seconds
Every 2 minutes
Every 3.5 minutes
Every 30 seconds
Every 33 seconds
Every 5 minutes
Every 6.5 minutes
n/a
Every 68 seconds
Every 26 minutes
Every 27 minutes
Every minute
Every 75 seconds
Every 11 minutes
Every 17 minutes
Every 7.5 minutes
Every 75 seconds
Every 5 hours
Every 37 minutes
Every 3.5 minutes
Every 4 minutes
Every 77 minutes
Every 68 minutes
Every 75 seconds
Every 2.5 minutes
Every 22 minutes
Every 33 minutes
Every 2.5 minutes
Every 4.5 minutes
Every 38 minutes
Every 44 minutes
Every 3.5 minutes
Every 14 minutes
Every 29 minutes
Every 75 minutes
Every 5 minutes
Every 7 minutes
Every 1.5 hours
Every 80 minutes
Every 8.5 minutes
Every 7 minutes
Every 23 minutes
Every 2 hours
n/a
Every 15 minutes
Every 4.5 hours
Every 5 hours
n/a
Every 15 minutes
Every 12 hours
Every 14 hours
Every 1.5 hours
Every hour and 15 minutes
Every 10 hours
Every 25 hours
Every 6 hours
Every 6 hours
Every 2 days
Every 2 days
Every 17 hours
Every 7 hours
Every 14 days
Every 9 days
Every day
Every 2 days
Every 7 days
Every 5 days
Every 2 days
Every 22 hours
Every 24 days
Every 33 days
Every 3 days
Every 2 days
n/a
n/a
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 17
Are America’s Children Ready to Compete in the Global Arena?
How America Ranks Among Industrialized Countries in
Investing in and Protecting Children
1st in gross domestic product
1st in number of billionaires
Second to worst in child poverty rates (just ahead of Romania)
Largest gap between the rich and the poor
1st in military spending
1st in military weapons exports
1st in number of people incarcerated
Worst in protecting children against gun violence
30th in preschool enrollment rates
24th in reading scores for 15-year-olds
28th in science scores for 15-year-olds
36th in math scores for 15-year-olds
1st in health expenditures
25th in low birthweight rates
26th in immunization rates
31st in infant mortality rates
Second to worst in teenage births (just ahead of Bulgaria)
The U.S. is the only country in the world besides Somalia — which lacks a
legally constituted government — that has failed to ratify the U.N. Convention
on the Rights of the Child.
If we compare Black child well-being in America to child well-being in other
nations, according to UNICEF:
• 72 nations have lower infant mortality rates including Sri Lanka, Cuba,
and Romania.
• 132 nations have a lower incidence of low birthweight including the
Congo, Cambodia, and Guatemala.
18 • Children’s Defense Fund
Hard Times
“In the wintertime, we’d scoop up snow to get water,
put it in pots and boil it so it would be like sterilized,”
she said. “We put sheets up around the windows to
keep the rooms warmer. The beds and stuff had got
moldy so we slept on the couches.”
— Toni Thomas, 2011 Student Council
member in Detroit high school
Working Through High School
“I mean, there were nights where we
didn’t have anything to put in our
stomachs. Like we’d just have to drink
water. And I guess there’s times where
we didn’t know where we were going
to live. But now it’s just a normal
thing for us.
— Eva Maria Turcios, 2012
Beat the Odds® scholar,
Freshman at University of
Mary Washington
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 19
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 19
C h i l d P o p u l a t i o n Ta b l e s
CHILD POPULATION
2019
I
THE YEAR CHILDREN OF COLOR
WILL BE THE MAJORITY.
n 2012, there were 73,728,088 children in the United States, 206,184 fewer than in 2011. After increasing
steadily for decades, the child population has been dropping slightly every year since 2009.
In 2012, children were 23.5 percent of the population compared to seniors who were 13.7 percent and workingage adults (18-64) who were 62.8 percent. If current trends continue the share of seniors in the population will
continue to grow, and by 2060 it is expected there will be more seniors than children.1
Children of color are increasing in the population and comprise a larger share of the population in younger age
groups. In 2012, children of color were 47.2 percent of all children, up from 46.8 percent the previous year.
For the first time in 2012, the majority of children under age 2 were children of color. By 2019, it is estimated
that the majority of children will be children of color.2 This was already the case for children in 10 states
(Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas) and
the District of Columbia (see Figure and Table A-1).
The number of Hispanic children has increased every year since 1980, rising from 5.3 million in 1980 to
17.6 million in 2012, while the number of White children has decreased every year since 1994. The number
of Black children has remained between 10 and 11 million over the past decade.
Of the 73.7 million children in the U.S. in 2012, 38.9 million (52.8 percent) were White, 17.6 million
(23.9 percent) were Hispanic, 10.2 million (13.9 percent) were Black, 3.4 million (4.6 percent) were Asian,
2.8 million (3.9 percent) were two or more races, 0.6 million (0.9 percent) were American Indian or Alaska
Native, and 0.1 million (0.2 percent) were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
Fifty-one percent of children in 2012 lived in nine states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York,
North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Fifty-three percent of children of color lived in six states:
California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York and Texas.
There were 1.65 million more boys than girls in the child population in 2012: 37,689,608 boys (51.5 percent)
compared to 36,038,480 (48.9 percent) girls.
Find state data in Child Population tables in Appendix.
20 • Children’s Defense Fund
WA
40.5%
OR
34.7%
NV
61.7%
CA
73.2%
MT
20.4%
ID
23.8%
UT
24.9%
AZ
59.0%
ND
19.3%
WY
21.7%
SD
25.4%
ME
VT 9.4% 10.4%
MN
27.6%
NE
28.4%
CO
42.7%
KS
32.2%
OK
44.7%
NM
74.2%
TX
66.9%
WI
27.2%
IA
19.4%
MI
31.7%
IN
IL
47.5% 26.7%
MO
25.8%
NY
49.9%
OH
26.1%
KY
19.6%
WV
10.2% VA
44.0%
LA
47.7%
AL
MS
41.1%
50.6%
GA
53.7%
48.5%
HI
86.6%
NJ 49.8%
DE 48.0%
MD 54.4%
DC 80.0%
SC
44.8%
< 20%
FL
55.1%
AK
NH 13.0%
MA 33.2%
RI 36.8%
CT 40.4%
NC
45.5%
TN 32.9%
AR
35.4%
PA
29.8%
.
20-39.9%
40-49.9%
≥ 50%
Children of color were almost half (47.2%) of the total U.S. child population
in 2012, and the majority in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, 2013.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 21
C h i l d P o p u l a t i o n Ta b l e s
Percent of Children of Color by State, 2012
C h i l d P o v e r t y Ta b l e s
CHILD POVERTY
5.3 million
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN LIFTED
OUT OF POVERTY IN 2012 BY
THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
AND THE CHILD TAX CREDIT.
espite great wealth, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty among industrialized countries.
Poverty impairs all aspects of a child’s development and can have lifelong detrimental consequences. Poor
children are more likely to go hungry and are less likely to be read to during their early years. They are less likely to
have health insurance and receive needed care. Poor children are more likely to start school behind their more
affluent peers and less likely to graduate from high school. They are more likely to be poor as adults and become
involved in the criminal justice system. Together these impacts cost the nation an estimated $500 billion dollars
yearly.1
D
Child poverty, defined as an annual income below $23,492 for a family of four ($1,958 per month, $452 per
week), increased 36 percent from 2000 to 2010. Most of the increase came after the Great Recession.2
Three years after the official end of the recession, child poverty remained at record-high levels in 2012, with the
youngest children most affected:3
• Children are the poorest age group in the nation. In 2012, children were 60 percent more likely to be
poor than adults ages 18-64, and nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to be poor than seniors.
• Nearly 3 million more children were poor in 2012 than in 2007 before the recession began.
• Over 16 million children were poor in 2012 — more than 1 in 5 children. Over 40 percent of them
lived in extreme poverty, at less than half the poverty level of $11,746 a year for a family of four.
• The youngest children are the poorest: over 1 in 4 children under age 5 were poor — nearly 5 million.
Almost half of them — 2.4 million — were extremely poor.
Employment does not guarantee an income above the poverty level:
• In 2012, more than two-thirds of poor children lived in families with at least one working
family member.
The largest group of poor children is Hispanic (5.8 million) followed by White, non-Hispanic (5.2 million) and
Black (4.1 million).4 Children of color are disproportionately poor, with the youngest children of color most at risk.
• Nearly 1 in 3 children of color was poor in 2012 — 11.2 million — and more than 1 in 3 children
of color under age 5 were poor — 3.5 million.
• Black children were the poorest (39.6 percent) followed by American Indian/Native Alaskan children
(36.8 percent) and Hispanic children (33.7 percent).
• Approximately 1 in 5 Black and 1 in 7 Hispanic children were living in extreme poverty in 2012,
compared to more than 1 in 18 White, non-Hispanic children.
• Nearly half of Black children under age 5 and more than 1 in 3 Hispanic children the same age were poor.
• In six states (Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin) half or more of
Black children were poor. Nearly half the states had Black child poverty rates of 40 percent or more
(see Table B-4 ).
22 • Children’s Defense Fund
• The child poverty rate was more than twice as high in Mississippi, the state with the highest rate,
than in North Dakota, the state with the lowest rate (see Table B-2).
• More than half of all poor children lived in just eight states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.
• Twelve states (10 in the South) and the District of Columbia had a quarter or more poor children.
• The South was home to 42.1 percent of the nation’s poor children, and had the highest child poverty
rate at 24.2 percent.
• Child poverty rates were highest in cities (29.1 percent) followed by rural areas and small towns
(26.7 percent). However, nearly 40 percent of the nation’s poor children lived in suburbs.
Federal safety net programs and tax credits play a crucial role for poor families:6
• Nearly 9 million children were lifted out of poverty by the safety net and tax credits in 2012.
• The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit lifted 5.3 million children
were lifted out of poverty.
• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) lifted 2.2 million children out of poverty.
• One-and-a-half million children were lifted out of poverty by Social Security benefits.
• One million children were lifted out of poverty with the aid of housing subsidies.
Find additional data, including state data, in Poverty tables in Appendix.
We slept in the car. We had to, because we had no home.
I slept in the back seat. My sister laid in the front. My mom laid in the front.
Her head was back. My sister’s head was on the side. I laid flat. . .
We went to IHOP and we only got one pancake and we shared it.
That was our breakfast.
— Jasmine, age 7
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 23
C h i l d P o v e r t y Ta b l e s
For children the likelihood of being in a poor family was a lottery of geography in 2012:5
17x
more
THE AVERAGE WEALTH OF WHITE
HOUSEHOLDS IN 2011 ($110,500)
VERSUS BLACK HOUSEHOLDS ($6,314).
E
very child deserves a safe, permanent and loving family and all parents and caregivers aspire to support and
prepare their children for a better life than the previous generation. Children do not choose their families.
The structure and financial status of the family into which a child is born impacts their development and ability
to reach their full potential. Single parents and families with lower incomes have fewer resources to ensure a
healthy and head start for their children. Our societal responsibility is to ensure that regardless of birth, all
children have access to the resources they need to survive and thrive and reach their potential.
According to the most recent data on family structure:
• Almost 70 percent of all children lived with two parents in 2013 (see Figure 1). However,
more than half of all Black children and over 30 percent of Hispanic children lived with only
one parent, usually their mother.
• Black children were twice as likely as White children to live with neither parent. Usually a
grandparent or another relative-caretaker parented them.
Figure 1: Living Arrangements of Children by Race/Ethnicity, 2013
Percent of Children
F aam
mi li yl yS tSr ut cr tuucr et uarned Ianncdo mIen Ta
c obm
l ees
FAMILY STRUCTURE AND INCOME
90%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
All Races
Living with two parents
68.5%
Living with mother only
23.7
Living with father only
4.1
Living with neither parent 3.7
White
Hispanic
Black
Asian
77.4%
15.3
4.4
3.0
65.1%
27.9
3.2
3.9
38.8%
50.5
4.6
6.1
84.8%
10.7
2.5
1.9
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Table C9.
24 • Children’s Defense Fund
According to the most recent data on wealth and family income:
• The average wealth of White households in 2011 ($110,500) was nearly 14 times that of
Hispanic households ($7,683), and more than 17 times that of Black households ($6,314).1
• Asian and White families with children had median incomes more than twice that for Black
and Hispanic families. The median income was $81,199 for Asian families, $75,448 for
White families, $35,665 for Black families, and $36,949 for Hispanic families (see Figure 2).
• The median income of married-couple families with children was three times higher than
that of families with children headed by single women (see Figure 2).
• Median income among families with children was over twice as high in the highest state
(New Jersey, $85,185) than in the lowest state (Mississippi, $40,875) (see Table C-1).
Find state data in Family Structure and Income tables in Appendix.
Figure 2: Median Income of Families with Children, by Family Type, 2012
$120,000
100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
Total,
All Races
White
Hispanic
Black
Asian
All
$59,984
$75,448
$36,949
$35,665
$81,199
Married-couple
$81,455
$91,362
$47,770
$69,725
$97,769
Female householders/
husband absent
$25,493
$30,072
$21,709
$21,654
$36,531
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Table FINC-03.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 25
F aam
mi li yl yS tSr ut cr tuucr et uarned Ianncdo mIen Ta
c obm
l ees
My Mom’s Story
One job. Two jobs. Three jobs.
Endless bus rides to and from.
Home in time to catch a ride, give instructions, wave goodbye.
Lonely mom and lonely kids.
Cleans businesses at night, homes in the day.
Once a week, she cleans the big house for the white lady who says,
“Good morning, I hope you’re ready to work.”
— Diane, age 15
H oouussi ni n
g ga nadn H
dom
H eolm
e ses lnee s s nTa
e bs lse s
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
2.5
THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME MINIMUM WAGE
JOBS A PERSON WOULD HAVE TO WORK TO
AFFORD A TWO BEDROOM UNIT.
H
ousing is the largest single expense for most families, and it grew increasingly out of reach for many during
the Great Recession and the jobless “recovery.” The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that
for every 100 extremely low-income renter households there are only 30 affordable and available rental units.1
Unstable housing situations and homelessness have dire consequences for children. They disrupt schooling,
place great stress on children and families, and if not remedied quickly, can have lifelong consequences on
children’s academic achievement and success as adults. Homeless children are more likely to go hungry, with
one-third reporting that they skip meals; are more than twice as likely as middle-class children to have moderate
to severe and chronic health problems; and are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school, to be expelled or
suspended, or to drop out of high school.2
The data below highlight the need for increased availability of affordable housing for families with children and
greater access to living wage jobs. Support for families who have been homeless is also needed to help them
meet their children’s needs going forward.
According to the most recent data on housing and homelessness:
• Nearly 1.2 million public school students were identified as homeless during the 2011-2012
school year, 73 percent more than before the Great Recession (see Figure).3 Forty-one states
saw increases in homeless public school students between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012
(see Table D-1).
• Seventy-five percent of homeless public school students in 2011-2012 were living “doubled
up” with family or friends, 15 percent were in shelters, 6 percent were in hotels or motels,
and the remaining 4 percent were unsheltered.3
On a single night in January 2013, 138,149 children were homeless in shelters, transitional housing, or on the
streets, making up nearly one quarter (23 percent) of all homeless people counted that night.4 Among these
homeless children, 6,197 children were unaccompanied and 3,675 were unaccompanied and unsheltered.
In no state could an individual working full-time at the minimum wage afford the fair market rent for a
two-bedroom rental unit and still have paid for food, utilities and other necessities in 2013. A person would
have needed to work more than two-and-a-half full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom unit
(see Table D-2).
Find state data in Housing and Homelessness tables in Appendix.
The Floor Was Cold
We laid on blankets. It felt hard. There were little roaches that walked over us at night. One little one got in
my ear, and it was hard to take it out. It was nasty, because I could hear it scratching. It hurt a lot when I was
trying to sleep. . .
We had to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning because our school was far away. Sometimes we had to go
to school late, because we had to wait for the bathroom. But since it wasn’t our house they could use the
bathroom first. But at school, we would get truant. I could not go to recess because of this.
— Kimberly, age 12
26 • Children’s Defense Fund
1,400,000
1,162,210
1,200,000
1,059,210
1,000,000
956,914
939,903
2008–2009
2009–2010
794,617
800,000
673,458
600,000
400,000
200,000
0
2006–2007
2007–2008
2010–2011
2011–2012
Source: National Center for Homeless Education, 2013.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 27
H oouussi ni n
g ga nadn H
dom
H eolm
e ses lnee s s nTa
e bs lse s
Number of Homeless Children Enrolled
in Public Schools, 2006–2012
C hhi il dl dN uHt rui tni ogne ra nad nHdu nNg eurt rTa
i tbil eo sn
CHILD HUNGER AND NUTRITION
1in 9
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN
THE UNITED STATES WHO LIVED IN
HOUSEHOLDS WHERE CHILDREN
WERE FOOD INSECURE.
W
ith record numbers of poor children and families struggling to recover from the recession, federal nutrition
programs are a critical support to ensure children’s daily nutritional needs are met. Children’s physical
health and brain development depend on their being well fed, particularly in the earliest years of life. Hunger
and malnutrition have devastating consequences for children. Children continue to suffer from hunger in the
country with the largest GDP:
• In 2012, more than 1 in 9 children lived in households where children were food insecure,
meaning they lacked consistent access to adequate food.1 While slightly lower than in 2011,
food insecurity among children remained 23 percent higher than before the recession.
• More than 1 in 5 children in the United States — 15.9 million — lived in households where
either children or adults or both were food insecure (see Table E-1).
• Black and Hispanic households with children were more than twice as likely as White households
to have food insecure children, but White households comprised the largest group of
households (43 percent) with food insecure children.1
• In 2010 and 2011, three-quarters of households with food-insecure children had one or more
working adult, 80 percent of whom worked full-time.2
Poor and food-insecure children are especially vulnerable to obesity due to the many risk factors associated with
poverty, including limited access to healthy and affordable foods and opportunities for physical activity. States
with higher child food insecurity in 2011 had higher rates of overweight and obese children (see Table E-1).
Federal nutrition programs work: they put food on children’s plates, help build healthy minds and bodies, and
help lift families out of poverty. A recent study found that needy children who received food assistance before
the age of 5 were in better health as adults. Girls who received food assistance were more likely to complete more
schooling, earn more money, and not rely on safety net programs as adults.3 These programs are particularly
crucial for younger children, as they are more likely to already be in poor health, experience developmental
delays, and be food insecure when their families’ food benefits are reduced or terminated.4 According to the
most recent data, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) continue to be key supports for poor families:
• Nearly three-quarters of SNAP households are families with children.5
• In FY2012, SNAP provided benefits to over 46 million Americans on average every month,
including more than 22 million children — more than 1 in 4 children in America.6
• Due to the jobless recovery, SNAP participation in FY2012 remained 77 percent higher than
in FY2007.
• SNAP food assistance lifted 2.2 million children out of poverty in 2012.7
• In FY2012, WIC provided supplemental food to nearly 9 million low-income pregnant
women, infants, and children under age 4 during a critical period of brain development.8
Nationally one-third of children under age 5 benefited from WIC in FY2012 (See Table E-2 ).
28 • Children’s Defense Fund
So, you know, I try not to eat too much. I try to eat in school. They give me free lunch in school.
— Jane, age 17
The school and summer feeding programs, which provide meals to children in school and during the summer,
play a vital role in ensuring children are fed and able to succeed in the classroom. In one study, children who
were food insecure in kindergarten saw a 13 percent drop in their reading and math test scores by third grade
compared to their food-secure peers.9
• In FY2012, more than 21 million children received free or reduced-price lunch through the
National School Lunch Program and nearly 11 million children received free and reduced
price breakfast (See Table E-3).
• Only 1 in 10 of the children who received free or reduced-price lunch during the school year
was enrolled in the Summer Food Service Program, despite the fact that there is no summer
vacation for hunger (See Table E-3).
Find state data in Child Hunger and Nutrition tables in Appendix.
y
rt
e
v
o
p
f
o
t
u
o
n
re
d
il
h
c
n
o
SNAP lifted 2.2 milli
in 2012.
For every 6 poor children, there is another child
who isn’t poor thanks to SNAP.
Source: CDF calculations based on U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Supplemental Poverty Measure.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 29
C hhi il dl dN uHt rui tni og ne ra nad nHdu nNg u
e rt rTa
i tbil oe sn
There were some times where, you know, we wouldn’t have that much food, and I would tell
my mom, ‘I’m not hungry, don’t worry about it,’ and I lost a lot of weight. I remember I used
to be a size five, and I went from a size five to a size zero.
C h i l d H e a l t h Ta b l e s
CHILD HEALTH
69%
THE PERCENT OF UNINSURED CHILDREN
ELIGIBLE BUT NOT ENROLLED IN
MEDICAID OR CHIP.
T
o survive and thrive all children need access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage that is easy to get
and keep. Unmet health and mental health needs can result in children falling behind developmentally and
having trouble catching up, physically, emotionally, socially and academically. Poor children and children of
color have worse access to health care and as a result often start life several steps behind their wealthier and
healthier White peers.
Thanks in large part to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the number of
uninsured children today is at a historic low.
• Since the enactment of CHIP in 1997, the percentage of children who are uninsured has dropped
40 percent from 14.8 percent to 8.9 percent (see Figure).1
• Between 2011 and 2012, 441,000 children gained health coverage.2
• In FY2012, more than 44 million children under age 19 — 57 percent — were covered
by Medicaid or CHIP (see Table F-3).
• Almost half of all births in America are covered by Medicaid, although the proportion varies
significantly by state (see Table F-5).
Despite these improvements, 1 in 11 — 7.2 million — children under 19 remained uninsured in 2012 2 *
(see Table F-1). Over 90 percent of them were U.S. citizens, nearly 90 percent lived in families with at
least one working member, and nearly half lived in the South.
By preserving and strengthening Medicaid and CHIP and creating new coverage options for parents, the
Affordable Care Act (ACA) will provide access to health coverage for 95 percent of all children in America.
However, eligibility for coverage does not guarantee enrollment.
• Nearly 70 percent (68.9 percent) of all uninsured children under age 19 were eligible but not
enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in 2011.3 More than a third of all eligible but uninsured children
lived in three states — California, Florida and Texas (see Table F-3).
• The ACA gives states new tools to make it easier for children and their parents to get and
keep coverage, but the ease of enrollment and income eligibility levels vary widely, creating a
lottery of geography for child’s health coverage (see Table F-4).
Lower income children and children of color have poorer health outcomes and worse access to health
and mental health care than higher income and White children. According to the most recent data:
• Over 2 million children fell below the poverty level because of their families’ health care costs.4
• Children in poor families were twice as likely not to receive preventive medical and dental care as
children in families earning 400 percent or more of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and poor children
were three times as likely to be obese at ages 10-17 (see Table F-2).
* Wherever possible CDF presents uninsured statistics for children 0-18 because Medicaid and CHIP cover children through age 18.
30 • Children’s Defense Fund
• Young children in poor families were more than twice as likely to be at high risk for developmental,
behavioral, or social delays as children in families earning 200 percent or more of the FPL
(see Table F-2 ).
• Infants born to Black mothers were more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday
as infants born to White mothers (see Table F-5).5
• Children of color were more likely to be uninsured than White children. In 2012, 1 in 7
Hispanic children and 1 in 11 Black children were uninsured, compared to 1 in 15 White
children (see Table F-1).
• Ninety-one percent of parents of White children rated their child’s health as excellent or very
good compared to only 70 percent of parents of Hispanic children (see Table F-2).
• Black children were 70 percent more likely than White children not to receive needed mental
health services. Overall, nearly 40 percent of children who needed mental health services did
not receive them (see Table F-2).
Find additional data, including state data, in Child Health tables in Appendix.
Percent of Children Uninsured Since Passage of CHIP in 1997
Percent Uninsured
14.8
15.4
12
10.7 10.6 10.3 10.4
11.2
9.9
10.3
10.6
9.5
9.7
9.8
9.4
8.9
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 31
C h i l d H e a l t h Ta b l e s
Inexcusable Loss
The inexcusable and unnecessary lost of Deamonte Driver’s life is a Dickensian story that started
when he complained of a headache. His mother was unable to find a dentist who would accept
Medicaid patients, so she took her 7th grader to a hospital emergency room where he was given
medicine for a headache, sinusitis and a dental abscess and sent home. He quickly got much sicker
and was rushed to surgery, where it was discovered that the bacteria from the abscessed tooth had
spread to his brain. Heroic efforts were made to save him including two major operations and
eight weeks of additional care costing about $250,000—all too late. He was 12 years old.
E a r l y C h i l d h o o d Ta b l e s
EARLY CHILDHOOD
96%
THE PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE INFANTS AND
TODDLERS NOT SERVED BY EARLY HEAD
START DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING.
E
arly childhood is a once-in-a-lifetime window of opportunity for every child. Much of a child’s brain
development occurs during the earliest years of life, setting the stage for future physical, cognitive, social
and emotional development.1 In a healthy, safe environment, children receive the supportive and caring
relationships they need to set them up for lifelong learning and success. However, 1 in 4 children under age 5
experiences the stressful environment of poverty with unmet physical and emotional needs, leading to developmental
delays and other challenges. Income-related achievement gaps show up as early as nine months and often grow
larger as children age, increasing the likelihood of intergenerational poverty.
High-quality early childhood development and learning interventions have been proven to buffer the negative
effects of poverty and provide lifelong benefits, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable children.
Studies have shown that children enrolled in high quality early childhood programs are more likely to graduate
from high school, hold a job, and make more money and less likely to commit a crime than their peers who
do not participate.2 Nobel laureate economist James Heckman estimates a lifelong economic rate of return of
7 to 10 percent per year per dollar invested.3
Too few young children today benefit from high quality early childhood development and learning supports.
The most recent early childhood data show:
• In every state young children and parents are currently benefiting, and many more could benefit from
voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs funded by the federal Maternal and Infant Early
Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. These quality programs promote maternal and child
health and improve school readiness among other benefits.
• Early Head Start, which provides comprehensive services for infants and toddlers through home
visiting, center-based care, and family child care, was funded to serve only an estimated 4 percent of
the 2.9 million poor children under age 3 who were eligible for the program on any given day in
FY2012 4(see Table G-1).
• Head Start funding was only enough to serve an estimated 41 percent of the 2 million poor 3- and 4year olds who were eligible for the program on any given day in FY2012 5 (see Table G-2).
• Budget cuts have had a disproportionate impact on programs serving young children. From 2011 to
2012 total federal spending on children decreased 7 percent, and spending on early childhood programs
decreased by 12 percent.6 The sequestration budget cuts eliminated more than 57,000 children from
Head Start and Early Head Start in 2013.7
• Fewer than half of 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in preschool on average in the three year period from
2009 to 2011 (see Table G-3).
32 • Children’s Defense Fund
• For many children, state preschool is the most affordable option. Sixteen percent of 3- and 4-year-olds
were enrolled in state preschool programs during school year 2011-2012. Only four states had preschool
programs that met all 10 of the National Institute for Early Education Research’s quality benchmarks in
2011-2012; 20 states met eight or more (see Table G-3).
• In 2011, the average cost of center-based care for infants was greater than the annual tuition and
fees for an in-state public college in 35 states and the District of Columbia, and the cost of care for
a 4-year-old was more than the cost of college in 25 states and the District of Columbia
(see Figure and Table G-4).
• An average of nearly 1 million families every month in FY2011 received financial assistance through the
Child Care and Development Fund to help pay for the high cost of child care, resulting in assistance
for more than 1.6 million children monthly (see Table G-5). In 2013, income eligibility limits for federally
supported child care assistance in all states were below the federally recommended 85 percent of state
median income, and 19 states had child care waiting lists or had frozen intake (see Table G-6).
Average Cost of Infant and Toddler and
4-Year-Old Child Care vs. College Costs (2011)
$10,000
9,000
8,000
7,000
6,000
5,000
$9,520
$7,705
$7,701
Average Cost of 4-Year-Old
Child Care
Average Undergraduate
Tuition and Fees to an
In-State Public 4-Year-College
4,000
3,000
2,000
1,000
0
Average Cost of Infant and
Toddler Child Care
Source: National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies and U.S. Department of Education.
Find state data in Early Childhood tables in Appendix.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 33
E a r l y C h i l d h o o d Ta b l e s
From Head Start to Harvard
The colors were brighter than any she had seen before. Shapes, letters, and lots and lots of colors
adorned the walls; around the room, children worked together building high rises with colored
blocks and “read” colorful picture books. “I had never seen so much color,” Angie vividly remembers
her first days as a Head Start preschooler in Duarte, California. This was her first formal experience
learning English. Her parents, who spoke mostly Spanish, enrolled her in the program knowing
that their little girl would need English to succeed in school.
— Angelica Salazar, former middle school English teacher, graduate of Harvard University’s
John F. Kennedy School of Government, now CDF Policy Associate in California
E d u c a t i o n Ta b l e s
EDUCATION
66%
THE PERCENT OF ALL PUBLIC
SCHOOL EIGHTH GRADERS
UNABLE TO READ OR COMPUTE
AT GRADE LEVEL.
F
or generations of families, education has been the path out of poverty. With a quality education children
can acquire the economic, social, cultural and political capital they need to realize their potential and
support their future families. Educational opportunities continue to be grossly unequal across the country. The
lottery of geography and birth means children in higher income and White and Asian families are more likely to
have access to high-quality early education that sets them up for later academic and social success, while children
of color and poor children are disproportionally denied the opportunity for a strong start.1 Some children make
it across the high school graduation stage and enter college prepared for the rigor of higher education, while
thousands of others are left behind.
Unequal opportunities and outcomes have lifelong impacts that extend across generations. Children with low
educational success are less likely to obtain a well-paying job and more likely to suffer ill health and to be incarcerated
as adults. They are more likely to become parents before they are ready, and less likely to provide their own children
the head start needed to break the cycle of poverty. The nation is failing to prepare our children to compete in
the 21st century:
n
n
n
n
Nearly 60 percent of all fourth and eighth grade public school students could not read or compute at
grade level in 2013:
• 66 percent of fourth graders could not read at grade level, 59 percent could not compute
at grade level (see Table H-1).
• 66 percent of eighth graders could not read or compute at grade level (see Table H-2).
Only 78 percent of public school students graduated from high school in four years in 2010
(see Table H-6).
Over half a million public school students (514,238) dropped out of grades 9-12 during the
2009-2010 school year.2
Although three-quarters of high school students who took the ACT college entrance exam took a
core curriculum in high school, only one-quarter were ready for college-level English, math, science,
and reading.3
Poor children and children of color fare worse in our educational system:
n Almost three-quarters or more of lower income fourth and eighth grade public school students could
not read or compute at grade level in 2013, compared to 52 percent or fewer of higher income students.
n Almost three-quarters or more of fourth and eighth grade Black and Hispanic public school students
could not read or compute at grade level in 2013 (see Tables H-1 and H-2).
n One in 3 Black students and 3 in 10 Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students did not
graduate from high school in four years (see Table H-6).
34 • Children’s Defense Fund
School funding between poorer and richer communities is far from equitable. Equitable funding is commonly
defined as spending 40 percent more on poorer students than richer students to make up for the fact that
poorer children face many more challenges to learning.
n
Only Alaska spent 40 percent more per student in its poorest school districts than its richest districts
in 2007-2008, the most recent year of data (see Table H-4). Six states underfunded their poorest
districts by more than $5,000 per student. Thirteen states spent more on students in their richest
districts than their poorest.
Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia assume strong instruction
taught over a full day starting in kindergarten.
n In only 11 states and the District of Columbia are school districts required by law to offer full-day
kindergarten to all eligible students.4 All of them have adopted the Common Core State Standards.
Disparate school discipline practices contribute to achievement gaps:
n In 2009-2010, more than 1 in 6 Black students received at least one out-of-school suspension
compared to 1 in 50 Asian/Pacific Islander students and 1 in 20 White students (see Table H-5).5
n More than 1 in 8 students with disabilities were suspended, compared to 1 in 14 students without
disabilities.5
n Black children were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to be corporally punished than White
children, and nearly eight times more likely to be corporally punished than Hispanic children.6
For students who don’t graduate on time, the GED® is meant to provide an opportunity to gain some of the
advantages associated with a high school diploma. However, a high school degree is worth more than a GED®:
n GED® holders earned on average $4,100 more per year than high school dropouts, but $4,100 less
than high school graduates. Even with a college degree, GED® holders made $1,400 less per year
than high school graduates with a college degree.7
n One in 5 GED® test takers nationally is between the ages of 16 and 18 and could be earning a high
school diploma.8
States spend nearly three times more a year for prisoners than it would cost to provide a child with a quality
early learning experience 9 and more than twice as much as they spend to provide K-12 education.10 Twenty-one
states spent over three times more to house a prisoner than to educate a student in 2009-2010 (see Table H-8).
Find state data in Education tables in Appendix.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 35
E d u c a t i o n Ta b l e s
High Expectations
A lot of teachers judge and stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my
teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville and I grew up in Section 8
housing that I wasn’t capable of doing all the things that I did. And the first time that I really felt
like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and
said, “What can I do for you to help you as a student?”
— Janol Vinson, Florida International
University graduate student
C h i l d We l f a r e Ta b l e s
CHILD WELFARE
1,825
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN
CONFIRMED ABUSED OR
NEGLECTED EACH DAY.
C
hild abuse and neglect continue to harm too many children. While poverty is the single strongest predictor
of child abuse and neglect, most poor parents do not abuse or neglect their children. Child maltreatment
occurs in families of all income levels, especially when parents face challenges such as substance abuse, untreated
mental health problems, and domestic violence and don’t have access to the services and treatment they need.
The goal must be to keep children safely with their families and to reduce the number of children involved in
the child welfare system. More appropriate supports can help keep children and families safely together and out
of foster care, and can also help promote timely reunification, adoption, and other permanent family connections
for children in foster care. Preventing children from bouncing between foster homes or other placements and
aging out of foster care without permanent families will reduce their risk of falling into the Cradle to Prison
Pipeline™ and increase their chance of having a successful adulthood.
The good news is that over the last decade, the number of children in foster care has declined by 24 percent
from 523,616 children in 2002 to 399,546 in 2012. While all racial and ethnic groups experienced declines,
Black children experienced the largest declines during that period. The number of Black children in foster care
was nearly cut in half, accounting for almost three-quarters of the overall decline in the number of children
in foster care. However, Black children are still overrepresented in the system: 26 percent of children in foster
care were Black in FY2012, nearly double the percent of the Black child population.1
A small number of states drove the national trend. Between 2002 and 2012, 10 states accounted for over 90
percent of the overall decline, and three states (California, Florida and New York) accounted for 50 percent.
Twelve states experienced increases between 2002 and 2012, with large increases in Arizona and Texas.1
(See Table I-2)
Key facts about child welfare:
• A child is abused or neglected every 47 seconds; nearly 80 percent are victims of neglect
(See Table I-1). Infants and toddlers are most likely to be victims of abuse or neglect.2
• Nearly 40 percent of child abuse and neglect victims receive no post-investigation services and many
more receive far fewer services than they need.2
• Even though foster care is supposed to be temporary, the average length of stay for children exiting
foster care in 2012 was nearly two years (22.7 months).3
• In 2012, 101,719 children in foster care were waiting to be adopted.3
• Nearly 5.5 million children are living in households headed by grandparents, most often with their
parents. About one-third of these children are living with grandparents who say they are responsible
for them. More than 958,000 of this group have no parent present in the home. Many have been
diverted from the child welfare system to live with their grandparents or are living with grandparents
who are their foster parents or legal guardians (see Table I-5).
36 • Children’s Defense Fund
• In 2012, more than 23,000 youth aged out of foster care at age 18 or older without being returned
home, adopted, or placed with a permanent legal guardian.3 These vulnerable youth are at increased
risk of not graduating from high school and ending up unemployed, homeless or in the juvenile or
criminal justice systems.
• Children and youth in foster care are at high risk of poor school performance due to challenges
associated with maltreatment, unaddressed special needs, frequent changes in foster family homes or
group homes, and poor school attendance. These factors increase the risk of lower test scores, grade
retention, and school dropout.4
• Child abuse and neglect cost our society $80.3 billion each year — $33.3 billion in direct costs
(i.e. hospitalization, childhood mental health care costs, child welfare system costs and law enforcement
costs) and $46.9 billion in indirect costs (i.e. special education, adult homelessness, adult mental
and physical health care, juvenile and adult criminal justice costs and lost work productivity).
The average lifetime cost of child maltreatment in a single nonfatal case is $210,012, and most of this
total — $144,360 — is due to lost productivity. The average lifetime cost of fatal child abuse and
neglect is $1.27 million, due largely to lost productivity.5
Find state data in Child Welfare tables in Appendix.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 37
C h i l d We l f a r e Ta b l e s
Born into Poverty
When Arianna was in sixth grade, her mother attempted suicide and survived but continued to suffer
from depression. After Arianna was bullied in school for being bi-racial, poor, and smart, with little
support from home, she began missing school and crying out for help. She was removed from her home
and placed in an alternative residential treatment program. Arianna moved into foster care, and with adult
support, began to thrive in school. She became a gifted student who excelled in science and math and
whose paintings, photography, and jewelry were featured in shows across the region when in high school.
— Arianna McQuillen, 2010 CDF Beat the Odds® scholar,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology undergraduate student
J u v e n i l e J u s t i c e Ta b l e s
JUVENILE JUSTICE
4,028
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN
ARRESTED EACH DAY IN AMERICA.
THAT’S ONE EVERY 21 SECONDS.
T
he juvenile justice system is the last chance to divert children from the Cradle to Prison PipelineTM into a
pipeline to college and successful adulthood. Children born into neighborhoods of concentrated poverty,
with unmet health and mental health needs, who have been victims of violence, or who have spent time in
foster care are at increased risk of interacting with the juvenile justice system.
Racial and ethnic disparities are rampant. Children of color ages 10-17 represent only 16 percent of the overall
child population ages 10-17, but make up 34 percent of children arrested, 38 percent of children adjudicated,
and 68 percent of children in residential placement.1
Incarcerated youth are at increased risk of physical abuse, sexual assault and suicide. Children housed in adult
jails face greater risks. They are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than children in juvenile detention
centers. As youth return to their communities from confinement, many need support to find housing, graduate
from school, obtain employment, and maintain their physical and mental health.
There are better choices than incarceration that work for children, keep communities safe, and are more
cost-effective. Diversion programs, treatment programs, after-school reporting programs, and family support
programs help keep children in school and out of trouble. Positive outcomes are possible when youth
development and rehabilitation are the goals.
The most recent data about juvenile justice and youth at risk show that:
• Child arrest rates decreased nearly by half from 1996 to 2010,2 and the rate of children in
confinement decreased by 37 percent.3
• Child arrest rates fell 16 percent from 2009 to 2010 to 1.6 million arrests. Of the 40 states
reporting sufficient data, all but one (Tennessee) experienced a decline in child arrests in that
time period (see Table J-1).
• Over 60,000 children were held in residential placement in 2011 (see Table J-2). Black children
were almost five times more likely to be in residential placement than White children
(see Figure).4 Hispanic and American Indian children were two to three times more likely.
• In 2011, more than twice as many boys as girls were arrested (730,589 boys and 302,632 girls).5
Since 2007, there were decreases in arrests of both boys (30.3 percent) and girls (26 percent).
• The number of children in adult prisons has declined by 54 percent since 2000 and by 22
percent since 2010, but an estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as
adults each year (see Table J-3).6
Find state data in Juvenile Justice tables in Appendix.
38 • Children’s Defense Fund
Children in Residential Placement,
per 100,000 Children 10–17, 2011
600
521
500
400
361
300
200
196
202
112
100
36
0
All Races
White
Hispanic
Black
Asian
American
Indian
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 39
J u v e n i l e J u s t i c e Ta b l e s
Invisible Children
Growing up poor, Black and bright without guidance, by the time Darryl got to high school he felt
completely ignored, almost invisible. A high-poverty overcrowded school with few resources made matters
worse. When he was 15 Darryl ran away from home, got arrested and sentenced to two months in juvenile
detention centers. When he tried to go back to school, school officials said without guidance and support
he couldn’t come back. They suggested he get a G.E.D. Soon he was arrested again. The turning point
for Darryl was getting involved as a community organizer, finding a mentor, and going through leadership
training programs.
— Darryl Briggs, Lehman College undergraduate student
G u n V i o l e n c e Ta b l e s
GUN VIOLENCE
7
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN AND TEENS
KILLED BY GUNS EVERY DAY IN AMERICA.
SEVEN EVERY DAY.
T
housands of children and teens see their lives cut tragically short by gun violence every year, enough to fill
134 classrooms of 20 children each in 2010. In high-poverty communities children constantly fear losing
their lives to a bullet fired in an act of random violence. But the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School
showed Americans there is no safe place in the country. Guns regularly kill more infants, toddlers and preschoolers
than they do law enforcement officers in the line of duty. The widespread availability of guns leads to countless
accidental gun deaths and suicides of children.
Key facts about gun violence:
• 2,694 children and teens were killed by guns in the United States in 2010 and 15,576 children
and teens were injured by guns.1 That means one child or teen was killed or injured every 30
minutes, 50 every day, and 351 every week.
• Gun violence is the leading cause of death among Black children and teens ages 1-19 and the
second leading cause of death (behind car accidents) for all children and teens ages 1-19.1
• Gun violence disproportionately affects children of color. In 2010, Black children and teens
were nearly five times and Hispanic children and teens more than three times more likely to be
killed by guns than White children and teens.1
• The United States military and law enforcement agencies possess 4 million guns, U.S. civilians
have 310 million.2 Every year, American companies manufacture enough bullets to fire 31
rounds into every one of our citizens.3
• U.S. children and teens are 17 times more likely to be killed by a gun than their peers in 25
other high-income countries (see Figure). U.S. children and teens are 10 times more likely to
die from a gun suicide or a gun accident and 32 times more likely to die from a gun homicide.4
• Since 1963, three times as many children and teens have been killed by guns on American
soil than U.S. soldiers have been killed in action in wars abroad. From 1963-2010, 166,500
children and teens were killed by guns in the United States, while a combined total of 52,183
U.S. soldiers were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars.5
• A gun in the home does not make a family safer. It increases the risk of homicide by
200 percent, suicide 200 to 400 percent, and accidental death 300 percent.6 Congress cut
federal funding for gun violence research soon after the release of these findings.
• Gun violence takes a societal toll beyond those immediately impacted by it. In 2010, gun
deaths and injuries were estimated to cost the U.S. $174.1 billion, or 1.15 percent of our
total gross domestic product.7
Find state data in Gun Violence tables in Appendix.
40 • Children’s Defense Fund
After the Massacre
‘There is nothing you can do or say that will convince me that this will not happen again.’
— Child from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Rates of Gun Deaths per 100,000 Children and Teens in High-Income Countries
United States
Canada
Finland
Israel
Estonia
Austria
Denmark
Ireland
Norway
Hungary
France
Belgium
Czech Republic
Non-US Combined
Sweden
Portugal
Greece
Netherlands
Italy
Slovak Rebublic
Poland
Germany
United Kingdom
Spain
Slovenia
Luxembourg
Iceland
3.24
0.75
0.57
0.48
0.35
U.S. children and teens were 17 times
more likely to be killed by a gun than
children in 25 other high-income
countries combined.
0.35
0.30
0.25
0.24
0.24
0.24
0.21
0.19
0.19
0.18
0.18
0.18
0.18
0.18
0.17
0.06
0.05
0.05
0.03
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
Sources: Children’s Defense Fund analysis of data from World Health Organization, 2012, Inter-country Comparison of Mortality
for Selected Cause of Death – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010, Fatal Injury Reports. Chart includes the latest data available for each country:
2010 for all countries except Belgium and Denmark (2006), and France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy and Luxembourg (2009). Rates are not age-adjusted.
Data were not available for Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Switzerland.
The State of America’s Children® 2014 • 41
G u n V i o l e n c e Ta b l e s
Stricter Gun Policies Now
I have lost 20 or more people to gun violence . . . I have seen one of my best friends get shot and
killed in my face. What really hurt was I had to tell his mother he was dead. To this day his murder is
unsolved and I honestly feel it will never be solved. But something needs to give; either stricter gun
policy or more mothers will have to go through what my friend’s mother went through.
— Teenager at Maya Angelou Academy at the New Beginnings Youth
Development Center
Cp
A
hp
i ledn dP ioxp u– l aDtai toan TTaabbl leess
Appendix – Data Tables
Child Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
A-1 Child Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2012
Child Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
B-1 Poor Children in America in 2012: A Portrait
B-2 Poor and Extremely Poor Children by Age, 2012
B-3 Number of Poor Children by Race/Ethnicity, 2012
B-4 Percent of Poor Children by Race/Ethnicity, 2012
B-5 Federal Poverty Thresholds and Guidelines
Family Structure and Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
C-1 Median Income of Families with Children by Family Type, 2012
Housing and Homelessness …
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