U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2006

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2006
18 pages
This report on children's well-being in America in 2005 focuses on their economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education.
Adolescent birth rates continued to decline to the lowest ever recorded; immunization rates were at record highs; more young children were being read to daily by a family member; average mathematics scores of fourth-graders and eighth-graders reached an all-time high; and teen smoking was at the lowest rate since data collection began. On the other hand, the proportion of births to unmarried women continued to increase; the rate of infants born with low or very low birthweight continued to rise; the trend of overweight children also increased; and the percentage of children living in families with incomes below their poverty thresholds remained at 17 percent. The proportion of children covered by private health insurance decreased from 74 percent in 1987 to 66 percent in 1994, increased to 70 percent in 1999, and dropped to 66 percent in 2004. In 2004, 5 percent of children ages 0-17 had no usual source of health care. The percentage of young adults ages 18-24 who had completed high school with a diploma or an alternative credential was 87 percent in 2004, a stable percentage since the early 1990s. Overall, children's victimization rates have declined from their 1993 peak of 44 victims per 1,000 juveniles. The rate of serious violent offending by youth in 2004, 14 crimes per 1,000 youth, was unchanged from the rate in 2003, but was lower than the peak of 52 crimes per 1,000 youth in 1993. Data for this report were drawn from 20 Federal agencies that produce or use statistical data on children and families. These are the most reliable official statistics available. 10 figures and 1 table

Date Published: July 1, 2006