The Largest Child Population In U.S. History Is More Diverse Than Ever.
Findings & Stats
More Children Than Ever
The population of children under age 18 increased by 8.7 million from 1990 to 2000; the only decade of the 20th century with a bigger increase was the 1950s.
Increased Minority Population
98% of the growth in the child population was among non-white children. In 2000, 39% of America's children were minorities, compared to 28% of adults.
Despite the historic number of children recorded in the census, the U.S. adult population grew at twice the rate of the under-18 population.
More Childless Households
In 2000, only 36% of households had at least one child, compared to 51% in 1960.
Statements & Quotations
In the 1990 Census, the undercount of children was an important issue, in part, because children were missed at twice the rate of adults. While preliminary data from the Census Bureau indicate that more than one million children were missed in the 2000 Census, the Bureau decided not to make adjustments for this undercount in the data released in March 2001.
Based on our experience with the effects of the baby boom in the 1950s, it is clear that the recent increase in America’s under-18 population will put heavy new demands on our already struggling public education, child care, and family support systems. In addition to the sheer numbers of children added to the population, a very large share of these children come from families where English may not be the primary language at home and from cultural traditions that may be unfamiliar to many educators and service providers.
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