Friday, July 9, 2010
Preterm births and adolescent births declined, eighth graders’ math and reading scores increased, and more children had health insurance, according to the federal government’s annual statistical report on the well-being of the nation’s children and youth. The report also showed several economic changes that coincided with the beginning of the economic downturn: increases in child poverty and food insecurity, as well as a decline in secure parental employment.
The report, America’s Children In Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010 was compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a working group of 22 federal agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families. The report groups the most recently available major federal statistics on children and youth under several domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. The purpose of the report is to provide statistical information on children and families in a nontechnical, easy-to-use format in order to stimulate discussion among data providers, policymakers, and members of the public.
"The decline in preterm births is encouraging," said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., acting director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "Preterm infants are at higher risk for death in the first year of life, for serious illness in infancy, and, in later life, for obesity and its associated complications."
"Also of note is the decrease in births to teens," said Edward Sondik, Ph.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. "This drop occurred after two years of increases, and we will be interested to see if this is the beginning of a new trend."
Dr. Sondik said that the report on the well-being of the nation’s children is a significant vehicle in informing the nation about key issues in their lives.
"The impact of the federal agency collaboration cannot be understated – our commitment to the future is evidenced in our measured analysis of the past."
Among the statistically significant changes seen in the period 2007-2008 are:
For the period 2007 to 2009:
From 2008 to 2009:
Members of the public may access the report online at http://childstats.gov on July 9, after noon, Eastern time. Printed copies of the report are also available from the Health Resources and Services Administration Information Center, P.O. Box 2910, Merrifield, VA 22116, by calling 1-888-Ask-HRSA (1-888-275-4772), or by e-mailing email@example.com.
The Forum’s website at http://childstats.gov contains all data updates and detailed statistical information accompanying this year’s America’s Children in Brief report. As in previous years, not all statistics are collected on an annual basis and so some data in the Brief may be unchanged from last year’s report.
Recording of the Audio News Briefing for the America's Children Report, 2010 (mp3, 2.9 MB)Transcript of the Audio News Briefing for the America's Children Report, 2010.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics