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The condition of children in the United States is a "national disgrace,'' a report released last month by the Children's Defense Fund concludes.

According to the report, an annual assessment of the state of America's children, 1991 saw the highest number of children living in poverty--14.3 million--since 1965. Contrary to popular stereotypes, it says, most poor children are white, have a parent who works, and live outside of large cities.

Drawing on federal and other data, the report also notes that fewer than 60 percent of 2-year-olds are fully immunized in most states, and that in 1991 there were six times as many cases of childhood measles and rubella and twice as many cases of whooping cough as in "the best year of the 1980's.''

The report, which offers state-by-state data on key measures of child well-being, concludes that without comprehensive aid, millions of children will be left "unready for school; unsafe in their neighborhoods; and victims of needless illness, disability, and death.''

The report contains a number of policy recommendations on Head Start, child health, and other issues for the incoming Clinton Administration and Congress. (See related story, page 33.)

Copies of the report, "The State of America's Children 1992: Leave No Child Behind,'' are available for $14.95 each from the Children's Defense Fund, 25 E St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

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