California Kids: Data on Growing up in the Golden State

Posted July 10, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Nearly one in eight kids in the United States lives in California.

Cal­i­for­nia is home to more kids than any oth­er state — near­ly 9.1 mil­lion chil­dren under the age of 18. This total, which rep­re­sents 12.3% of all kids nation­wide, exceeds the num­ber of chil­dren in 21 oth­er states combined.

Because of its out­sized child pop­u­la­tion, Cal­i­for­nia plays an impor­tant role in shap­ing child well-being sta­tis­tics for the entire coun­try. As a result, it’s worth check­ing in on — and learn­ing more about — the Gold­en State’s youngest residents.

Con­sid­er these fast facts — cour­tesy of the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter — on California’s kids:

  • 52% are His­pan­ic or Lati­no. The next largest groups, accord­ing to a child’s race and eth­nic­i­ty, are white (26% of kids) and Asian (11% of kids).
  • 66% are younger than age 12.
  • 43% are from a low-income fam­i­ly and 20% are liv­ing in poverty.
  • 34% live in a sin­gle-par­ent family.
  • 12% of low-income stu­dents have access to state-fund­ed after­school programs.
  • 47% live in immi­grant fam­i­lies and 43% of chil­dren with­in this group do not have a res­i­dent par­ent who is a U.S. citizen.
  • 9% have dif­fi­cul­ty speak­ing English.
  • 3% lack health insurance.
  • 62% live in a house­hold led by an adult who has not earned an advanced degree.

Vis­it the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter to learn more about what it’s like to grow up in Cal­i­for­nia today and see how the state’s data on child well-being has changed over time.

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