U.S. children are becoming less likely to live in extreme poverty or to be imprisoned, according to the latest annual report of federal data on child health and well-being.
The 2018 America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics in the National Institute of Chid Health and Human Development, collects data from 23 federal agencies that work with children and families, and it gives insight into risks and supports for children in and out of the school day.
Among the findings from this year’s compilation:
From 2010 to 2016, the portion of U.S. children ages 17 and under who were living in poverty fell from 22 percent to 18 percent. In 2016, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $24,339. During the same time, the portion of children in families living on less than half that income also dropped 2 percentage points, to 8 percent.
More than 1.4 million school-age children were homeless in 2016, representing about 4 percent of urban students, 2.5 percent of rural students, and 2.1 percent of suburban students.
The number of children living in juvenile detention facilities fell to its lowest recorded level—152 for every 100,000 children under 18—in 2015, with the sharpest drops for boys of color.
The rates of both boys and girls in juvenile justice facilities have been more than halved, and children of every racial group have seen a decline, based on data from the Justice Department’s Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement:
The data also show more preschool-age children are participating in center-based child care, including Head Start and private preschool centers. However, the data also show more than a third of older school children have no after-school enrichment or care:
A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.