Report Shows Improvements in Child Well-Being in 2011
(HealthDay News) – While the infant mortality rate, premature births, and teen births are declining, more children are living in poverty.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a working group of 22 federal agencies, reviewed data and updated the Key National Indicators of Well-Being for America's children for 2011.
The report noted a decrease in preterm births for the fourth consecutive year, a decrease in the adolescent birth rate, and a decrease in deaths before the first birthday. Although fewer children were living in households classified as food insecure, there was an increase in the percentage of children living in poverty and in the percentage of children with one parent working full time, year round. More adolescents received at least one dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine; fewer adolescents were the victims of serious violent crime; fewer young children lived in a household where someone smoked regularly; and math scores increased for fourth and eighth graders. Fewer high school-aged adolescents were neither enrolled in high school or college nor working, but more children lived in counties where levels of one or more air pollutants were above allowable levels.
"The findings in this report, drawn from many outstanding data systems across the federal spectrum, allow us to track key progress in the fight against many major public health threats, such as meningitis, for example," Edward Sondik, PhD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, said in a statement.