Growing Up Black in America Today

Posted July 21, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog growingupblack 2015

Let’s get right to it. The good news? 

Rel­a­tive to the nation­al aver­age, black chil­dren in Amer­i­ca today are more like­ly to:

  • Have health insur­ance coverage.
  • Attend preschool.
  • Live in fam­i­lies where the house­hold head has a high-school diploma. 

And… that’s it. 

In fact, the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book under­scores a clear — and very con­cern­ing — real­i­ty that runs far short on feel-good statistics. 

Sim­ply put: Black chil­dren and fam­i­lies are struggling. 

Accord­ing to the Data Book, here’s where black chil­dren face the great­est chal­lenges among all major eth­nic and racial groups: 

39% live in poverty.
32% live in high-pover­ty areas. 
67% live in sin­gle-par­ent families.
86% of 8th graders fail to score pro­fi­cient in math. 
83% of 4th graders fail to score pro­fi­cient in reading 
50% live in house­holds with a high hous­ing cost burden.
More than 30% fail to grad­u­ate high school on time. 
12.8% of babies are born at a low birthweight
33 deaths for every 1,000 chil­dren and teens 

These num­bers leave lit­tle room for doubt. Even more, they rep­re­sent a sta­tis­ti­cal shout to action. 

They say: We can — and must — do more to lev­el life’s play­ing field and give all of our nation’s chil­dren a stronger con­nec­tion to opportunity. 
Learn the facts. Check out the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book for an in-depth look at what it’s like to be a black child in Amer­i­ca today. 

See a break­down of pover­ty rates by race and His­pan­ic-ori­gin.

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