Report Roundup: Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children & Youth 2000

Amy Bracken
March 1, 2001

In 1999, there were 70.2 million children under the age of 18 in the United States, up from 64.2 million in 1990, and the figure is projected to increase to 77.2 million by 2020, says the fifth annual "Trends in the Well-Being" report. Drawing from a wide range of sources, including the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the report focuses on five areas: population, family and neighborhood; economic security; health conditions and health care; social development, behavioral health and teen fertility; and education and achievement.

Among the report's good news: severe child hunger decreased by 50 percent between 1995 and 1999, from 1 percent to one-half percent; the percentage of teens reporting having seriously considered suicide fell from 29 percent in 1991 to 19 percent in 1999; and more women received prenatal care during the first trimester in 1999 than in 1970 (83.2 percent, up from 63 percent).

Many of the trends are less encouraging: A smaller percentage of eighth, 10th and 12th graders participated in sports or exercised "almost every day" in 1999 than in 1991; the percentage of children living in two-parent families steadily decreased between 1970 and 1999 from 85 percent to 68 percent; and the percentage of infants born at a low birth weight increased steadily since 1975. 381 pages. $50. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Mailstop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402. (202) 512-1800.

Bracken, Amy. "Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children & Youth 2000." Report Roundup. Youth Today, March 2001, p. 40.

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