What Are We Thankful For? Progress!

Posted November 20, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog whatarewethankfulfor 2017

Across the coun­try, few­er chil­dren are now liv­ing in pover­ty and more are grad­u­at­ing high school on time. The nation’s teen birth rate is at an all-time low and uni­ver­sal health care cov­er­age for chil­dren is close to becom­ing a real­i­ty. Equal­ly impor­tant: More chil­dren are grow­ing up in house­holds led by an adult who has grad­u­at­ed from college.

These suc­cess­es are worth cel­e­brat­ing — and wor­thy of a clos­er look.

The nation’s child pover­ty rate has declined since peak­ing at 23% in 2011. As of 2016, 19% of Amer­i­can chil­dren — 14 mil­lion kids total — are now liv­ing in poverty.

The pro­por­tion of high-school stu­dents not grad­u­at­ing on time has dropped from 21% in 20102011 to just 17% in 20142015.

The nation’s teen birth rate has fall­en 63% since 1990, from 60 births per 1,000 teens to just 22 births per 1,000 teens.

Just 4% of kids — 3.3 mil­lion chil­dren total — lacked health insur­ance in 2016. This sta­tis­tic is down from 10% in 2008, when 7.3 mil­lion kids were grow­ing up with­out health insurance.

In 2007 and 2008, 28% of kids were grow­ing up in a house­hold led by some­one who had earned a bachelor’s degree or high­er. By 2015, this rate had increased to 33%.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and its KIDS COUNT Net­work are grate­ful for these gains, which are the direct result of poli­cies, pro­grams and prac­tices that have made chil­dren and fam­i­lies a pri­or­i­ty in the wake of the lat­est reces­sion. Mov­ing for­ward, pol­i­cy­mak­ers must con­tin­ue to safe­guard and grow the well-being of our coun­try by work­ing to ensure that all chil­dren have access to the resources and oppor­tu­ni­ties that they need to thrive.

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