Growing Up Latino in America Today

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

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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