Infographic from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a picture of current child well-being in the United States. The report highlights four domains of well-being: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. This year’s report shows that there have been steady improvements in the area of health and education, despite decreases in economic well-being. Nearly all the key indicators used to determine health and educational well-being improved, including the percentage of children with health insurance and the percentage of high school students graduating on time. However, all four economic indicators worsened, including the percentage of children in poverty and the percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment.
A number of disparities in the well-being of minority children are evident in the report. The percentages of children in poverty for African-American (38%), American Indian (35%) and Hispanic (35%) children are all more than twice that of non-Hispanic white children (13%). African-American (84%), Hispanic (82%), and American Indian (81%) fourth-graders are much more likely than non-Hispanic white fourth-graders (58%) to be not proficient in reading. Among eighth-graders, African-American (87%), American Indian (83%) and Hispanic (80%) children are more likely than non-Hispanic white children to be not proficient in math.
The report also ranks states on the four domains described above using four key indicators for each domain. Overall, Ohio is ranked 27th. In the domain of economic well-being, Ohio ranked 30th due to increases in the percentages of children in poverty, of children whose parents lack secure employment, of children living in households with a high housing cost burden, and of teens not in school and not working. In the domain of education, Ohio ranked 18th due to decreases in the percentages of children not attending preschool, eighth graders not proficient in math, and high school students not graduating on time. In the domain of health, Ohio ranked 24th, due to increases in the percentage of low birthweight babies, in the percentage of children without health insurance, in child and teen deaths, and in the percentage of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs. In the domain of family and community, Ohio ranked 32nd due to increases in the percentages of children in single-parent families and children living in high poverty areas, although the percentage of children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma decreased. Key indicators for Cuyahoga County echo state trends.