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Report on Well-Being of Nation’s Children Released

The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (Forum) has released its annual report, “America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being.”  This year's 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.

The America's Children series provides accessible and comprehensive information of indicators that are drawn across topics from the most reliable statistics and it is designed to complement other more specialized, technical, or comprehensive reports produced by the agencies involved in the Forum.  Indicators are chosen because they are easy to understand, 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
  • Health

Findings
This year’s report revealed a variety of findings, including:

  • Preterm births declined for the fourth straight year
  • Adolescent birth rate also declined
  • Average mathematics scores for 4th- and 8th-grade students increased
  • Violent crime victimization rate among youth decreased
  • However, the percentage of children living in poverty increased, and the percentage of children with at least one parent employed full time, year round decreased

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.
  • To read the full report, visit www.childstats.gov/pdf/ac2012/ac_12.pdf (PDF)