D.C. shows scant improvement in child well-being

Today the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book with a look at how children and youth across the country have weathered the recent recession. In many ways, the report highlights what all of us who work as child advocates in the District know so well: Children in the nation’s capital have some of the worst outcomes in the nation.

Among the states and territories, D.C. has the highest percent of children under 18 living in poverty (29 percent) and living in families without secure parental employment (44 percent), with the exception of only Puerto Rico.

Despite the grim situation, the Data Book highlights some improvements in D.C.:

  • The percent of teens who are neither in school nor high school graduates declined by 46 percent between 2000 and 2009.
  • The percent of low birth-weight babies declined by 12 percent from 2000 to 2008, but is still among the worst in the nation.
  • The rate of death for children ages 1-14 declined by six percent and the teen death rate declined by 15 percent from 2000-2007.
  • The teen birth rate declined by four percent from 2000 to 2008.

You can view the whole report and D.C.’s state profile at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/DataBook/2011/Default.aspx.

To learn more about the status of District’s children, check out our new policy and data snapshots on Medicaid, TANF and student test scores. More coming soon!