The United States is a wonderfully diverse nation, and its child population represents a kaleidoscope of races and nationalities. For all children to thrive, the basic needs of every young person — from every demographic group — must be met.
This child population report matters because it provides valuable information on demographic changes, such as the declining number of children and its implications for the labor force and education sector. Policymakers can use this information to make informed decisions on investing in children's education to ensure that the nation has enough skilled workers to keep the economy going strong. The report also highlights the disparities in educational outcomes for children of color, emphasizing the need for investment in all children to maximize their employability. Additionally, the report explores the relationship between child population growth and child outcomes, providing insights for policymakers on the best strategies to improve child well-being.
Findings About Children From the 2020 Census
This report — released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation — compares 2020 census results to historical child population data. It explores how the U.S. child population is decreasing in size, increasing in diversity and changing substantially at the state and city levels.
Among the changes highlighted in the publication:
The nation’s child population count fell from 74.2 million in 2010 to 73.1 million in 2020. During this same time-frame, 27 states plus Puerto Rico saw their total child count fall.
Children of color are taking up an increasingly larger share of the total child population. These children grew from representing just 26% of all kids in 1980 to 53% in 2020.
The total headcount for children of color grew in 46 states plus the District of Columbia, and this statistic grew fastest in three states — Texas, Florida and Washington.
About the 2020 Census Data
In August 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2020 census redistricting data files. These files provide detailed racial and Hispanic origin data for the nation’s total population and adult population. Child population data (representing the years from birth to age 17) was calculated by subtracting the relevant adult population count from the total population count.
U.S. Child Population Is Decreasing and Becoming More Racially And Ethnically Diverse
Findings & Stats
Collectively, the number of children living in the 100 largest cities by child population decreased from 14.2 million in 2010 to 13.9 million in 2020 (a drop of 311,300 kids or 2.2%).
From 2010 to 2020, the number of children of color increased in 46 states (including the District of Columbia), and non-Hispanic Asian children grew in 48 states (including the District of Columbia).
In 2020, 58% of Hispanic children were in just five states. This figure was 55% for non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native children, 48% of non-Hispanic Asian and 66% for Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander children.
Statements & Quotations
The statement that children are the future may sound trite, but it is accurate. How today’s children grow into the parents, workers and civic leaders of tomorrow is vital to the nation’s success. Equally irrefutable: Children of color have never been more important to our country’s future.
Every decade since 1980, the number of children of color has grown more rapidly than the number of non-Hispanic white children.
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