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April 2018Vol. 19, No. 3State of America's Children Report

Nearly one in five American children live in poverty, and the majority are children of color, according to a Children's Defense Fund report that assesses the social welfare of children in the United States. The report looks at how American children fare in 11 different areas: population, poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, hunger and nutrition, health, early childhood, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and gun violence.

The report includes the following statistics:

  • A baby is born to an unwed mother every 20 seconds.
  • A baby is born into poverty every 49 seconds.
  • A baby is born into extreme poverty every 2 minutes.
  • Nearly 70 percent of poor children are children of color.
  • A child dies before his or her first birthday every 23 minutes.
  • A child is confirmed to have been abused or neglected every 47 seconds.
  • A child is arrested every 31 seconds.
  • Median incomes were $80,800 for White families; $35,900 for Black families; and $41,000 for Hispanic families.
  • Head Start served only 5 percent of eligible babies and toddlers in 2016 and only 54 percent of eligible 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • The majority of public school students in the 4th and 8th grades could not read at their grade level.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, 7,768 children and teens were killed by guns, and gun violence was the leading cause of death for Black children.

The State of America's Children 2017 is available at (1,430 KB).