Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This year's America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being report continues more than a decade of dedication and collaboration by agencies across the Federal Government to advance our understanding of our Nation's children and what may be needed to bring them a better tomorrow. We hope you find this report useful. The Forum will be releasing its next full report in 2011.

Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget


Each year since 1997, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics has published a report on the well-being of children and families. Pending data availability, the Forum updates all 40 indicators annually on its Web site (http://childstats.gov) and alternates publishing a detailed report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, with a summary version that highlights selected indicators. The America's Children series makes Federal data on children and families available in a nontechnical, easy-to-use format in order to stimulate discussion among data providers, policymakers, and the public.

The Forum fosters coordination and integration among 22 Federal agencies that produce or use statistical data on children and families and seeks to improve Federal data on children and families. The America's Children series provides accessible compendiums of indicators drawn across topics from the most reliable official statistics; it is designed to complement other more specialized, technical, or comprehensive reports produced by various Forum agencies.

The indicators and demographic background measures presented in America's Children in Brief all have been presented in previous Forum reports. Indicators are chosen because they are easy to understand, are based on substantial research connecting them to child well-being, cut across important areas of children's lives, are measured regularly so that they can be updated and show trends over time, and represent large segments of the population, rather than one particular group.

These child well-being indicators span seven domains: Family and Social Environment, Economic Circumstances, Health Care, Physical Environment and Safety, Behavior, Education, and Health. This year's report reveals that health insurance coverage rates for children increased, the percentage of preterm births declined for the second straight year, average 8th-grade mathematics scores reached an all-time high, teen smoking was at its lowest since data collection began, and the adolescent birth rate declined after a 2-year increase. However, the percentage of children whose parents had secure employment was the lowest since 1996, and the percentage living in poverty was the highest since 1998. The percentage of children in food-insecure households was the highest since monitoring began. The Brief concludes with a summary table displaying recent changes in all 40 indicators.

For Further Information

The Forum's Web site (http://childstats.gov) provides additional information, including:

Detailed data, including trend data, for indicators discussed in this Brief as well as other America's Children indicators not discussed here.

Data source descriptions and contact information.
America's Children reports from 1997 to the present and other Forum reports.
Links to Forum agencies, their online data tools, and various international data sources.
Forum news and information on the Forum's overall structure and organization.

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