Growing Up in North America

Child Health and Safety in Canada, the United States and Mexico

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 2, 2007

Summary

Children represent more than 25% of the population of North America. Yet not enough is being done to document and study the status of children in Canada, Mexico and the United States in order to inform decisions that support the healthy development of children, who represent the future prosperity of these nations. This report documents the health status of North American children across several key indicators, highlights similarities and disparities by geography, ethnic and socioeconomic status and examines the challenges facing youth across the continent.

A Spanish version is available: CRECIENDO en AMÉRICA DEL NORTE

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Children Across North America Face Similar Health Challenges, Despite Differences In Context

While disparities in health status exist based on their country of origin, children across North America have more in common when it comes to their health than one might expect. Within each country geography, race, ethnicity and economic status affect child health status. Obesity, environmental threats, safety and mental health issues are among the emerging concerns impacting the lives of children and youth across Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Findings & Stats

AECF infantmortalitynorthamerica

Infant Mortality

Infant mortality has declined sharply across North America since 1970, though in Canada and the U.S. there has been little change since 1998.

AECF North America teenbirthrate

Teen Pregnancy

The teen birth rate in all three countries has declined over the last two decades: the U.S. saw a 33% decrease, Canada's rate dropped by 48%, and Mexico's by 7%.

Statements & Quotations