Data on Children in Foster Care from the Census Bureau

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

June 1, 2008


This paper provides the first systematic examination of data regarding children in foster care collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2000 Census was the first Decennial Census in the United States to identify children in foster care and data on foster children have been collected in the American Community Survey (ACS) each year since 2000. Comparisons based on Census Bureau data show that households with foster children are different from other households with children on almost every dimension examined.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Snapshot of the foster care system

In 2000, there were 544,303 children in foster care at the end of September. However, more than 700,000, or approximately 1% of, children passed through foster care at some point during Fiscal Year 2000. 5% of the children born in 1990 had experienced foster care by the time they were 15 years old.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations