Growing Up Latino in America Today

Posted July 21, 2015
Blog growinguplatinotoday 2015

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book is out, and it reveals some sober­ing facts-of-life about grow­ing up Lati­no in the Unit­ed States. 

The cut-to-the-chase mes­sage? The gap between America’s eco­nom­i­cal­ly secure and finan­cial­ly frag­ile fam­i­lies is widen­ing — and Lati­nos are falling, at a dis­pro­por­tion­ate rate, on the harsh­er side of this divide. 
Here’s what the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book tells us about Lati­no chil­dren today: 

  • 42% live in sin­gle-par­ent families. 
  • 24% live in high-pover­ty areas. 
  • 35% — more than any oth­er racial or eth­nic group — live in a house­hold head­ed by some­one with­out a high-school diploma. 
  • 37% live in a house­hold where no par­ent has a year-round, full-time job. 
  • 47% live in house­holds with a high hous­ing cost burden. 
  • 63% of 3- and 4‑year-olds do not par­tic­i­pate in pre‑K programs. 
  • 12% lack health insurance. 
  • More than 80% fail to read at a pro­fi­cient lev­el in 4th grade. 
  • Near­ly 80% fail to score pro­fi­cient in math in 8th grade. 

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book also iden­ti­fies some areas of real gains for the Lati­no com­mu­ni­ty. These include: 

  • Unem­ploy­ment rates that have near­ly bounced back to pre-reces­sion levels.
  • The low­est birth rate — 42 births for every 1,000 teen girls — ever record­ed for Lati­no teens. 
  • A 6‑percentage point improve­ment in math scores among 8th graders. 
  • Low­er death rates for both teens and chil­dren rel­a­tive to nation­al averages. 
  • More chil­dren born at a healthy weight rel­a­tive to oth­er racial and eth­nic groups. 

Head to the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book for an even big­ger-pic­ture view of what it’s like to be a Lati­no kid in Amer­i­ca today. 

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

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