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October 2007Vol. 8, No. 9New Measures of Child Well-Being

Two recently released national studies of child well-being show gains as well as challenges for the nation's children.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 18th annual KIDS COUNT 2007 Data Book is a national and State-by-State effort to track the status of children in the United States. This year's Data Book notes trends for improvement in a number of areas, including child death rates, high school dropout rates, and infant mortality rates. Several areas reflect declines in well-being, including increasing numbers of children in single-parent families and low-birthweight babies.

The Data Book also looks at the status of children in foster care in an essay, "Lifelong Family Connections: Supporting Permanence for Children in Foster Care."

In addition to the 10 key indicators included in the Data Book, an online database provides data on an additional 65 indicators of child well-being. Users can access State-by-State profiles or compare specific data across multiple States or localities within a State.

America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2007 is the latest release from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Each year since 1997, the Forum has published this report presenting key indicators used by Federal agencies to measure important aspects of children's lives. This year's report mirrors a number of the findings noted in the KIDS COUNT 2007 Data Book. Other trends discussed include an increase in the number of children living with a working parent and ongoing high rates of overweight children and asthmatic children.

This 10th anniversary edition of America's Children in Brief includes data from the Children's Bureau's Child Maltreatment 2005 on child abuse and neglect, and child maltreatment is included as one of nine new indicators. The report also features a new section on children's physical environment and safety and another new section on health care. The report is available online. (PDF - 2,145 KB)