2019 Casey MD families III_

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book Shows Continued Improvements—and Gaps—in Child Well-Being

The 30th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book was published on June 17, 2019.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual assessment of how children are faring in the United States and in each state, features a comprehensive index of child well-being and includes a national profile and state-level rankings across four content domains: (1) Economic Well-Being, (2) Education, (3) Health, and (4) Family and Community.

PRB’s U.S. Programs staff have played an essential role in the production of the Data Book since its inception, providing feedback on the design and measurement of the KIDS COUNT index and compiling the data presented in the Data Book.

In celebration of the 30th edition, the 2019 Data Book includes analysis of changes in the size and composition of the child population since 1990, highlighting the implications for child well-being. Since 1990, the child population has become more racially and ethnically diverse and the share of children with at least one immigrant parent has more than doubled. Growth in the child population has varied across states, with the fastest growth in the South and West. Texas alone has nearly 2.5 million more children in 2017 than in 1990, accounting for more than a quarter of the national increase across this period. Although child well-being has improved in many ways since 1990, the fastest-growing and largest states also tend to be those with lower rankings on overall child well-being.

National Trends in Child Well-Being Continue to Improve

The 2019 Data Book highlights key trends in child well-being since 2010. Based on the most recent data available, 11 out of the 16 key indicators improved since 2010 and only one indicator—the percent of babies born with low birth weight—worsened.

  • Children experienced broad gains in economic well-being, with all four indicators improving. Despite these gains, nearly one in five children still lived in poverty.
  • High school graduation rates continued to increase, with 85 percent of students graduating on time in 2016/2017. However, the share of public-school eighth graders who are proficient in math remains unchanged, with just one-third scoring as proficient.
  • Children’s health insurance coverage improved—5 percent of children lacked health insurance coverage in 2017 compared with 8 percent in 2010. Yet, the child and teen death rate has remained unchanged since 2010, and the percent of low-birthweight babies increased for the third consecutive year.
  • The teen birth rate continues to fall, dropping to a new low of 19 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2017. This rate shows significant improvement from 34 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2010 and 60 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 1990.

Wide Differences Remain in Child Well-Being Across States

National-level data can mask state and regional variations in child well-being. States in the Northeast tend to have the highest levels of overall child well-being. This year, New Hampshire ranked first and Massachusetts second. States in the South and Southwest tend to rank lowest in overall child well-being, with Mississippi (48), Louisiana (49), and New Mexico (50) having the lowest rankings this year.

  • In 2017, 43 percent of children in California lived in households that spent a disproportionate amount of income on housing compared to 18 percent of children in North Dakota and South Dakota.
  • Massachusetts was the only state in which half of the students in public school were considered proficient in reading or math—more than half of fourth graders were proficient in reading (51 percent) and at least half of eight graders were proficient in math (50 percent).
  • Since 2010, children’s health insurance coverage rates have improved in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Only 1 percent of children in Massachusetts lacked health insurance coverage compared with 11 percent in Texas.
  • Less than 1 percent of children in Wyoming lived in high-poverty areas compared with 24 percent of children in Mississippi and New Mexico.
  • The teen birth rate declined in all states, yet wide gaps remain. In 2017, Massachusetts and New Hampshire had the lowest rate of teenage childbearing with 8 births per 1,000 teenage girls, compared with the highest rate in Arkansas at 33 births per 1,000 teenage girls.

Racial and Ethnic Gaps in Child Well-Being Persist

Since 2010, children of all races experienced improvements across many of the 16 indicators of children’s well-being, yet deep inequities continue to persist. African American, American Indian, and Latino children are more likely than the average child to be poor, have parents who lack secure employment, and live in high-poverty neighborhoods. African American children have the highest rates of living in single-parent families, and American Indian children are the most likely to lack health insurance. Latino children are most likely to live with a household head who lacks a high school diploma and to not be in school when they are young. African American teenage girls and Latina teenagers have the highest rates of teenage childbearing. These large racial and ethnic gaps in child well-being indicate that children of color continue to face steep barriers to success.

The 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book shows that while substantial work remains to be done to secure a bright future for all children and young adults, many factors leading to children’s healthy development have improved since the release of the first Data Book in 1990 and since 2010. These results provide encouragement that the nation and states can advance the work needed to improve the prospects for all children. For the most recent national, state, and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being, visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.


2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Diverse students standing together in a row

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: Trends in Child Well-Being

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book on June 27, 2018. The KIDS COUNT Data Book provides an up-to-date and detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States, nationally and in each state. The KIDS COUNT Data Book features a comprehensive index of child well-being and includes a national profile and state-level rankings across four content domains: (1) Economic Well-Being, (2) Education, (3) Health, and (4) Family and Community. The 2018 Data Book focuses on key trends in child well-being during the economic recovery following the Great Recession. Over the last six years, children experienced gains in economic well-being, but results were mixed for the Health, Education, and Family and Community domains.

This year, the Data Book also highlights the growing undercount of young children in each decennial census since 1980, and discusses the risks and implications of another undercount in 2020. Given the importance of the decennial census in determining federal funding for states and localities for the next decade, the Data Book outlines strategies that could help improve the count of young children in the 2020 Census.

Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has played an instrumental role in the KIDS COUNT Data Book since 1992. U.S. Programs staff provide feedback on the design and measurement of the KIDS COUNT index of child well-being and compile the data presented in the Data Book.

Children’s Well-Being Is Improving in the Post-Recession Years

  • All four economic well-being indicators improved since 2010. In 2016, fewer children were living in poverty, fewer children had parents who lacked secure employment, and fewer families were spending a disproportionate share of their income on housing costs. Despite these improvements, one in five children still lived in poverty.
  • High school graduation rates reached an all-time high in 2015/2016 with 84 percent of high school students graduating on time. In 2010/2011, only 79 percent of high school students graduated on time.
  • More children have health insurance coverage. In 2016, only 4 percent of children did not have health insurance coverage compared with 8 percent in 2010. Children’s insurance coverage has improved in 45 states since 2010, primarily due to expanded access to health insurance.
  • The teen birth rate continued its dramatic decline, reaching its lowest level ever. The rate of teenage childbearing declined by 41 percent, dropping from 34 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2010 to 20 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2016.

States in the Northeast tend to have the highest levels of overall child well-being. This year, New Hampshire ranked first and Massachusetts second. States in the South and Southwest tend to have lower levels of overall child well-being; Mississippi (48), Louisiana (49), and New Mexico (50) had the lowest overall child well-being rankings this year. State-level gaps in child well-being reflect variation in the resources available to children and in state- and local-level policy. Such state-level variation shows bright spots for child well-being and areas for continued improvement.

  • More than four in ten children in California lived in households that spend a disproportionate amount of income on housing compared with slightly less than two in ten children in North Dakota.
  • Nationally, one-third of eighth graders in public schools were proficient in mathematics. Massachusetts was the only state with at least half of eighth graders proficient in math. At 19 percent, Louisiana had the lowest share of eighth grade students proficient in mathematics.
  • In 2016, the child and teen mortality rate was 26 deaths per 100,000 children and youth ages 1 to 19. South Dakota had the highest child and teen death rate at 47 deaths per 100,000 children, and Rhode Island had the lowest rate at 15 child and teen deaths per 100,000 children.
  • The teen birth rate declined in all states, yet wide gaps remain. In 2016, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire had the lowest rates of teenage childbearing with 9 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, compared with the highest rate in Arkansas with 35 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Child Well-Being Persist

Since 2010, African American, American Indian, and Latino children experienced improvements across the 16 indicators of children’s well-being, yet deep inequities continue to persist. Children of color had lower levels of well-being than non-Hispanic white children on nearly all indicators that were tracked in the Data Book. These large racial and ethnic gaps in child well-being indicate that children of color continue to face steep barriers to success.

The 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book demonstrates that many factors that lead to children’s healthy development have improved since 2010. The data also show that substantial work remains to be done to secure a bright future for all children and young adults. For the most recent national, state, and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being, visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Woman and child playing with wooden blocks.

2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book: How Are Children Faring?

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book on June 13, 2017. The KIDS COUNT Data Book—now in its 28th year—provides an up-to-date and detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States, nationally and in each state. The KIDS COUNT Data Book features a comprehensive index of child well-being and includes a national profile and state-level rankings across four content domains: (1) Economic Well-Being, (2) Education, (3) Health, and (4) Family and Community. The 2017 Data Book reveals many bright spots for children and family well-being during the economic recovery following the Great Recession, yet room for improvement remains in many areas.

Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has played an instrumental role in the KIDS COUNT Data Book since 1992. U.S. Programs staff provide feedback on the design and measurement of the KIDS COUNT index of child well-being and compile the data presented in the Data Book.

Children’s Well-Being Is Improving Following the Great Recession

Since 2010, outcomes for children improved on 11 out of the 16 indicators that are tracked as part of the Data Book.

  • All four economic well-being indicators improved since 2010. Although there has been significant improvement since 2010, children and families have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. More children are living in poverty and more children have parents who lack secure employment than in 2008.
  • High school graduation rates reached another all-time high in 2014/2015 with 83 percent of high school students graduating on time. In 2010/2011, 79 percent of high school students graduated on time.
  • More children have health insurance coverage. In 2015, only 5 percent of children did not have health insurance coverage compared to 8 percent in 2010. In 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the share of children without health insurance was 5 percent or less. Mostly due to expanded access to health insurance, children’s insurance coverage has improved in 44 states since 2010.
  • The teen birth rate continued its dramatic decline, reaching another historic low. The rate of teenage childbearing declined by 54 percent, dropping from 34 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2010 to 22 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2015.

Geographic Differences in Child Well-Being Remain Wide

Despite broad improvements in child well-being since 2010, stark differences across states remain. States in the Northeast tend to have the highest levels of overall child well-being and states in the South and Southwest tend to have lower levels of overall child well-being. State-level gaps in child well-being reflect variation in the resources available to children as well as state- and local-level policy variation. Such state-level variation shows bright spots for child well-being and areas for continued improvement.

  • The share of children whose parents lack secure parental employment improved nationally and in nearly all states since 2010. Yet, 37 percent of children in Mississippi and West Virginia have parents who lack secure employment compared with 20 percent in North Dakota and Utah.
  • Less than one-third of eighth graders in public schools are proficient in mathematics. At 17 percent, Alabama has the lowest share of eighth grade students who are proficient in mathematics; Massachusetts is the only state with more than half of eighth graders proficient in math at 51 percent.
  • In 2015, the child and teenage mortality rate was 25 deaths per 100,000 children ages 1 to 19. Montana had the highest child and teen death rate at 43 deaths per 100,000 children and Connecticut had the lowest rate at 15 child and teenage deaths per 100,000 children.
  • Nationally, 14 percent of children are living in high-poverty neighborhoods. Vermont and Wyoming have the lowest share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods at only 1 percent, compared to Mississippi with the highest share at 27 percent.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Well-Being Persist

Across the 16 indicators of children’s well-being, African American, American Indian, and Latino children experienced positive gains since 2010, yet deep inequities continue to persist. Children of color experience negative outcomes at a higher rate than non-Hispanic white children on nearly all indicators that are tracked in the Data Book. These large racial and ethnic gaps in child well-being indicate that children of color continue to face steep barriers to success.

In October 2017, the Annie E. Casey Foundation will release the second edition of Race for Results, which explores how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. U.S. Programs staff at PRB will play an integral role in developing this report.

The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book demonstrates that in many respects children’s well-being in the United States is improving. The data also show that substantial work remains to be done to secure a bright future for all children and young adults. For the most recent national, state, and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being, visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.


Children in classroom with hands raised

Trends and Challenges Facing America's Latino Children

Latino children currently account for one-fourth of U.S. children under age 18, and by 2050 they are projected to make up nearly one-third of the child population.  Of the 18.2 million Latino children currently living in the United States, 95 percent are U.S.-born citizens.

How are Latino children faring and have their circumstances improved since the recession? A new publication, prepared in partnership between Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), presents a snapshot of Latinos under age 18 to highlight areas of concern to policymakers. The report was released at an event in Washington, D.C. on September 29: “What’s New in Latino Child Well-Being? A Roundtable Discussion on the Emerging Trends and Remaining Challenges for America’s Hispanic Children.”

Results from the report show that during the past decade, Latinos have made important gains in several key areas of well-being—especially on measures of educational attainment, health insurance coverage, teenage births, and youth incarceration. But Hispanic youth continue to lag behind white youth on many key social and economic indicators. New projections by PRB show that the number of low-income Latino youth could increase by 45 percent—from 11 million today to nearly 16 million by 2050—if current levels of inequality persist in the future.

Reducing these disparities—especially by reducing racial/ethnic gaps in poverty and education—will not only improve economic conditions for millions of Latino parents and children, but will also fuel economic growth by creating a well-qualified workforce.

Rapid Increase in Latino Youth

In 2015, there were 18.2 million Latino youth living in the United States. The number of Latino children increased by 47 percent between 2000 and 2015 while the number of white and black youth declined (see Table). In fact, the total U.S. population under age 18 would have declined by 4.5 million between 2000 and 2015 without the increase in Latino children.

Table

Change in the Population Under Age 18, by Race/Ethnicity, 2000 to 2015

2000 Population Under Age 18 (000s) 2015 Population Under Age 18 (000s) Population Change (000s) Percent Change
Total 72,294 73,645 1,351 1.9
Latino 12,342 18,150 5,808 47.1
White* 44,027 37,927 -6,100 -13.9
Black* 10,610 10,166 -444 -4.2
Other* 5,314 7,401 2,087 39.3

*Non-Hispanic. “Other” includes American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, Asian American, and Multiracial.

Source:
U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census and 2015 Population Estimates.

The rapid growth of the Latino youth population can be attributed to two main factors. First, past immigration of Hispanics to the United States—primarily from Latin America and Mexico—has resulted in a large number of Latinos who are now in their prime childbearing years, compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Even if U.S. borders were closed to all new immigrants, the number of Latino youth would continue to increase because of the young age structure of the Latino population, which creates population momentum through a large number of couples who are starting families.

Second, although the fertility rate among Latinas has fallen sharply in recent years, from 2.7 births per woman in 2008 to 2.1 births per woman in 2014, the Latina fertility rate remains higher than the rate among black women (1.9) and white women (1.8).  In the United States, the overall replacement-level fertility, or the rate needed for a generation to replace itself, is around 2.1 births per woman.

Latino Youth Population Growing Fastest in South

Historically, the Latino population has been highly concentrated in the Southwest and West, and in a few metropolitan areas outside these regions, such as Chicago, Miami, and New York. In 2015, 58 percent of Latino youth still lived in just four states: California, Florida, New York, and Texas. However, Latino families and children are increasingly dispersing to other parts of the United States, especially to states in the Sun Belt. Eight of the 10 states with the fastest-growing populations of Latino children between 2000 and 2015 were located in the South.

California and New Mexico stand out because they are the only two states where Latinos made up a majority of the population under age 18 in 2015, although Texas—at 49%—could soon pass this threshold.

Just three states—California, Florida, and Texas—accounted for 41 percent of the increase in the Latino youth population between 2000 and 2015. The rapid increase in Latino youth in these states reflects a combination of factors, including a rebounding economy that has fueled domestic and international migration to many Sun Belt states, and recent immigration trends that contributed to rapid population growth among first- and second-generation Latinos, especially from Mexico.

In 2014, states in parts of Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic region, Florida, and New Hampshire had the highest proportions of first-generation Latino children. Second-generation Hispanic children were most highly concentrated in the Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Western regions. And third- and higher-generation Latino children had the highest concentrations in the Northeast and several states in the Northern Midwest and Mountain West regions. The Northeast includes many families and children from Puerto Rico who are U.S. citizens by birth.

How Are Latino Youth Faring?

  • In 2015, more than three-fifths of Latino youth (62 percent) lived in low-income families (families with income below 200 percent of the official poverty line). While this was slightly lower than the share of black children in low-income families (65 percent), it was twice the proportion for white children (31 percent). Arkansas and North Carolina had the highest shares of Latino children in low-income families in 2014, at more than 75 percent each.
  • If the current proportions of children in low-income families persist in the future, the number of low-income Latino youth will increase from 11 million today to nearly 16 million by 2015, according to PRB projections (see figure). The number of low-income white children is projected to decrease over time with the changing composition of America’s youth population.
  • In 2014, a majority of Latino youth (58 percent) lived in married-couple families, but this represents a substantial decline from the level in 2000 (68 percent). Nationwide, the share of all children in married-couple families decreased from 72 percent to 65 percent during the same period. Latino youth in the Northeast were more likely to live in single-parent families compared to those living in other parts of the country.
  • In 2014, about two-thirds (64 percent) of Latino children under age 18 lived with mothers who graduated from high school, compared to 79 percent of black children and 90 percent of white children. However, maternal education levels have increased sharply among Latinas since the turn of the millennium, which has reduced the size of this racial and ethnic education gap.
  • A major success during the past decade has been the narrowing gap in high school graduation rates between white and Latino youth. In 2004, about 67 percent of Latinos who entered ninth grade completed 12th grade on time with a regular diploma, compared to 80 percent of whites—a 13 percentage-point difference. By 2013, the graduation gap had shrunk to 7 percentage points, with 78 percent of Latino youth and 86 percent of whites graduating from high school on time.
  • In 2015, about 21 percent of Latino eighth graders were proficient or advanced in reading, up from 17 percent in 2009. The 2015 reading proficiency rate among Latino eighth graders was higher than the rate for black eighth graders (16 percent), but less than half the rate for whites (44 percent).
  • Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has led to historic gains in Latino children’s health insurance coverage. Between 2008 and 2014, the percentage of Latino children without health insurance fell sharply, from 19 percent to 10 percent. Nonetheless, Latino youth still lag behind other groups in health coverage, and continue to face higher risks for some health outcomes, such as obesity.
  • The Latina teenage birth rate declined from 87 births per 1,000 Latina teenagers in 2000 to 38 in 2014. The recent drop in teenage birth rates among Latinas and girls in other racial/ethnic groups may reflect higher rates of contraceptive use as well as higher proportions of teenagers who are delaying sex.

Addressing the Needs of a Diverse Latino Population

While the report paints a comprehensive picture of Latino child well-being, it also shows that outcomes and trends are not uniform and vary across regions and states. States in the Southeast, for example, which have had newer influxes of immigrants over the past decade, also have higher rates of first- and second- generation Latinos. Young Hispanics in these states tend to have worse educational and economic outcomes than those whose families have lived in the United States for several generations. On the other hand, Southeastern states also have much lower rates of childhood obesity than states in the Southwest, which have more third-generation youth. Obesity, among other negative outcomes, tends to increase with time spent in the United States; these acculturation-related trends will be especially important to tackle as the number of third- and higher-generation Latino youth increases over time.

Understanding how Latino children have been faring over time and across states can help us ensure that our nation—our schools, our clinics, our practitioners and policymakers—make the right decisions to support these children so that they may thrive and develop into healthy, productive adults.

For easy access to the data described in the report, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, state, and year, visit the UNIDOS Latino Kids Data Explorer.

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Children of Incarcerated Parents

Product: Webinar

Author: Population Reference Bureau

Date: March 17, 2015

PRB Webinar: Children of Incarcerated Parents Video thumbnail

PRB Webinar: Children of Incarcerated Parents

PRB Webinar: Children of Incarcerated Parents

The United States has more than 2 million people behind bars, and 45 percent were living with their children before they were imprisoned. U.S. children of incarcerated parents are an extremely vulnerable group, and much more likely to have behavioral problems and physical and mental health conditions than their peers.

In this recording of a webinar, Kristin Turney, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Irvine, presented findings from her research on the well-being of children with incarcerated parents. She is among a group of researchers using the Fragile Families and Children Wellbeing Study to understand the effects of incarceration on crucial aspects of child development, including parent-child relationships, school difficulties, and homelessness. Her discussion was followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers.

This webinar is provided by PRB’s Center for Public Information on Population Research, with funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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Poverty Is a Persistent Reality for Many Rural Children in U.S.

(September 2009) Although child poverty conjures up an urban image for most Americans, one-fifth of children in poverty live in rural areas. Poverty rates are higher for rural than for urban children, and the gap has increased in recent years. Rural children are more likely than urban children to live in extreme poverty—at less than one-half the poverty threshold (under $11,000 for a family of four in 2007). And, while many people move in and out of poverty as their circumstances change, spells of poverty last longer for rural children. They are the “forgotten fifth” of poor children because most programs and policies to help the poor are focused on urban areas.

Rural children have had higher poverty rates for decades.1 In 1970, the poverty rate was 20 percent for rural children compared with 12 percent for urban children. Although the gap narrowed in the 1970s and 1980s, the rates have diverged since the early 1990s (see figure). The rise of child poverty in rural America is consistent with the growing income gap between urban and rural families over this same period.2


Poverty Rates Declined More for Urban Than for Rural Children in U.S., 1990-2007

Source: William P. O’Hare, The Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America (2009).


Majority of Rural Poor Children Are White

Rural poor children are more likely than the urban poor to be white. More than one-half (57 percent) of all poor rural children are non-Hispanic white, compared with just over one-fourth (28 percent) of poor urban children. Twenty-one percent of poor rural children are black, 15 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are American Indian or Alaska Native. Asians, who are highly urban, account for very few of the rural poor. There is no ethnic majority among poor urban children: 35 percent are Hispanic, 30 percent are black, and just 1 percent are American Indian/Alaska Native.

Rural Poverty Concentrated by Region

The national trends mask enormous variations across the country. The rural child poverty rate ranges from a low of 8 percent in Connecticut to a high of 35 percent in Mississippi.3 More than one-fourth of the children are poor in 12 states that stretch in a clear swathe across much of the South, into Appalachia, and the Southwest (see map). The states with the lowest rural child poverty rates are clustered in New England, the upper Midwest, and the middle Atlantic, plus Wyoming and Nevada.


Rural Child Poverty in U.S. States, 2007

Source: William P. O’Hare, The Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America (2009).


These regional variations also have a marked racial and ethnic overlay. The vast majority of rural poor black children live in the South—a legacy of slavery, racial oppression, and economic marginalization. Poor rural Hispanic children are heavily concentrated in the South and the West. Appalachia, which stretches from southern New York to northwest Mississippi, has many pockets of poverty, but most of the area’s poor are non-Hispanic white. Poverty among rural American Indian children is concentrated in a small number of reservations in the Southwest and Northern Plains states.

Rural Poverty Deeper, More Persistent

Because rural children are also more likely to live in deep poverty and for longer spells, their families often grapple with severe economic problems. The poorest families benefited the least from the economic boom in the late 1990s, and the major reform of the welfare system during those years may have exacerbated their plight.4 An income difference of a few thousand dollars a year can have a major effect on child well-being.5 Small differences in expenditures in early childhood can also have implications for well-being in adulthood.6

Poor children living in rural America face significant challenges just as their urban counterparts do, but many problems are exacerbated by their isolation and limited access to support services that are common in urban areas. Rural parents tend to have less education and are more likely to be underemployed than urban parents, putting their children at higher risk of becoming poor. A smaller percentage of rural children than urban children live in married-couple families, and have a higher risk of poverty. And rural poverty can be especially persistent because, in addition to a scarcity of jobs and physical and social isolation in rural areas, many rural residents shun government assistance out of a high value placed on self-reliance and the stigma that often goes with welfare.


William P. O’Hare is visiting senior fellow at the Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire. This article was adapted from William P. O’Hare, The Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America (Durham, NH: Carsey Institute, 2009).


References

  1. Cynthia M. Duncan, Rural Poverty in America (Westport, CT: Auburn House, 1992); and Economic Research Service, “Rural Employment at a Glance,” Bulletin no. 21 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Information Research, 2006).
  2. Sarah Savage, “Children in Central Cities and Rural Communities Experience High Rates of Poverty,” Fact Sheet no. 12 (Durham, NH: Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire, 2008).
  3. Rebecca Blank, “Improving the Safety Net for Single Mothers Who Face Serious Barriers to Work,” The Future of Children 17, no. 2 (2007): 183–97; and Greg J. Duncan et al., “How Much Does Childhood Poverty Affect the Life Chances of Children?” American Sociological Review 63, no. 3 (1998): 406–23.
  4. Greg J. Duncan and Ariel Kalil, “Economic Costs of Early Childhood Poverty,” paper presented at the Population Association of America annual meetings, New Orleans, April 17-20, 2008.
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PopWire: Younger U.S. Baby Boomers Less Likely to Divorce by 40 Than Older Boomers

(October 2007) The share of baby-boomer men who divorced by age 40 fell from a high of 29.2 percent of those born from 1945 to 1949 to 25.4 percent of later baby boomers born between 1960 and 1964.

The pattern is similar for women, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau and based on the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The share of women divorced by 40 was 34.4 percent for early baby boomers and 30.3 percent for tail-end boomers.

It’s possible that the lower divorce rates are related to lower percentages married among the younger group. For example, while 84.7 percent of earlier boomers were married by age 30, a smaller share (73.6 percent) of the later boomers had tied the knot by the same age.

Detailed Tables – Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2004 can be found at: www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/marr-div/2004detailed_tables.html.

—Sandra Yin, PRB Associate Editor

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