(Baltimore, MD, Monday, June 17, 2019) – The Annie E. Casey Foundation today released its 30th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, the premier report on child well-being in the United States, urging policymakers and child advocates to prioritize policies that would expand opportunity for America’s 74 million children. The Foundation noting measurable but still inadequate progress over the past three decades to ensure all children can realize their full potential.
Despite the progress, the 2019 Data Book finds that the nation has still failed to tear down barriers affecting children of color and underscores that America’s future will be brighter if all kids in all communities have the opportunity to thrive.
In this year’s Data Book, the Foundation noted that the percentage of American children who were Latino more than doubled since 1990, from 12 to 26 percent.
Six of the top 10 states for overall child well-being are in the Northeast. New Hampshire and Massachusetts are again in first and second place, followed by Iowa (3), Minnesota (4), New Jersey (5), Vermont (6), Utah (7), Connecticut (8), Maine (9) and Virginia (10).
The 2019 Data Book found that low birth weight, which often portends developmental challenges, continues to be an issue and has increased three years in a row, matching the four-decade high of 8.3 percent of all live births (2006).
The book also found that nearly one in five American kids grow up in poverty, presenting tremendous risks to child well-being. Despite economic growth and reduced unemployment, there’s been virtually no progress on child poverty since the publication of the first Data Book in 1990.
The Data Book draws from numerous sources to focus on key trends in the post-recession years. It measures child well-being in four areas: economic, education, health & family and community.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. The 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book is the 30th edition of an annual study based on publicly available data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.