2024 Race for Results

Building a Pathway to Opportunity for All Children

Posted January 10, 2024
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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Cover of the Casey Foundation's Race for Results report


The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its latest Race for Results® report a decade after its inaugural publication, revealing progress in some areas but persistent disparities for children of color in the United States.

The report utilizes Casey's Race for Results index based on 12 indicators of child and youth well-being, showing that improvements have been made in at least six out of 11 comparable indicators across racial and ethnic groups over the past decade. Despite this progress, the nation falls short in adequately preparing children to achieve crucial milestones, with no racial or ethnic group coming close to the maximum score of 1,000 on the index.

The report emphasizes the need for targeted investments in children of color to eliminate long-standing barriers and address specific needs. While there has been an increase in attention to the circumstances and needs of young people, disparities persist. The national index scores range from 386 for Black children to 771 for Asian and Pacific Islander children. State-level variations indicate that experiences differ widely based on location, with Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine having some of the highest index scores and smallest gaps among racial and ethnic groups.

Race for Results National Index Scores
Race for Results National Index Scores

Youth of color constitute a slight majority of young Americans, and 1 in 4 children in the U.S. grows up in an immigrant family. The report stresses the importance of equitable access to opportunity for children of color, emphasizing the role of their contributions in maintaining the country's health and economic security. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency of ensuring all children can thrive, with policy solutions like the time-limited expansion of the federal child tax credit showcasing the improvements to families' financial stability.

Recommendations for a Brighter Future

Long-standing barriers have affected generations of Americans of color, and it will take both innovative programs and policy shifts to change our nation’s trajectory.

Advancing Universal Policies to Bolster All Children

Using the steps below, leaders can use large-scale policies to directly improve outcomes for health, family financial stability and postsecondary success included in the Race for Results index.

  1. Expand federal and state child tax credits and earned income tax credits for low-income families.
  2. Design programs that help families provide for their child’s future while reducing racial disparities.
  3. Expand Medicaid coverage.

Creating Targeted Strategies

In accordance with the Foundation’s Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide, Casey recommends policymakers, practitioners and program developers take additional steps to create targeted programs and policies that can close well-being gaps for young people of color.

  1. Follow the data.
  2. Engage communities that face the steepest barriers to opportunities and success.
  3. Analyze root causes of inequities.
  4. Use racial equity impact assessment tools and implementation measures to ensure policies achieve targeted goals.

Additional Resources

In conjunction with this report, the Foundation shared its 2017 methodology document describing the Race for Results index and a news release with a national take on the Race for Results findings.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

All our children need and deserve our best.

Children are depending on us, and we as a country are depending on them to be tomorrow’s leaders. Equipping all our young people with the resources to grow up well requires gathering the data to understand the needs and different conditions each group of young people confronts and taking action tailored to address those needs and conditions.