City Profiles of Child Well-Being

Results From the American Community Survey

Posted October 10, 2005
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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Five Measures in Focus

This report examines child well-being in the 50-largest U.S. cities. It compares data across five indicators for cities, and states as well as a 50-city average. The five indicators under review are:

  1. children living in poverty;
  2. children living in single-parent families;
  3. teens ages 16 to 19 who are high school dropouts;
  4. children ages 5 to 17 with difficulty speaking English; and
  5. children with no parents in the labor force.

Although these five measures do not capture the full range of conditions shaping children’s lives, they do represent many of the factors impacting child welfare. Moreover, these measures are consistent across geographic areas.

The Data Source

All estimates in the publication are based on U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) data. The ACS is an annual, nationwide survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social and economic data.

In 2010, the Census Bureau began compiling five-year averages with ACS data. These five-year averages, which are updated annually, allow for individuals to monitor social and economic trends in local communities in years between decennial censuses.

About the Series

This publication is part of the KIDS COUNT® Working Paper series, which elevates discussions about data gaps, results and trends related to the KIDS COUNT database.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

In terms of child well-being, life is harsher and harder for kids in urban areas

Across all five indicators under review, kids in America’s 50-largest cities fare worse when compared to their peers nationally. One example from 2004: 18% of children in the United States are growing up in poverty versus 28% of kids, on average, in the largest cities nationwide.