A newly released report: America's Children, 2017, shows rates of maltreatment increased the most among the youngest children, but fewer children living in poverty and more children with health insurance.A special feature in this year's report looks at student victimization and shows that 5 percent of grade 3 students frequently teased, made fun of, or called other students names; 3 percent frequently told lies or untrue stories about other students; 2 percent frequently pushed, shoved, slapped, hit, or kicked other students; and 2 percent frequently excluded other students from play on purpose.
Higher percentages of students living below 100% poverty (5 percent) were identified as perpetrators than students at 200% above poverty, the highest income level, (1 percent). Compared to other children, a higher percentage of perpetrators reported that they were also victimized by their peers.
The overall rate of child maltreatment (defined as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect) declined from 9.3 for every 1,000 children in 2008 to 8.8 in 2011. But in 2015, the rate increased to 9.2 per 1,000 children. Rates among children under 1 year of age have increased at twice the rate of any other age group.
In addition to highlighting some areas of concern, the report shows improvements in several key measures. From 2005 to 2010, poverty rates of all children ages 0–17 had increased from 18 percent to 22 percent. Since that time, poverty rates have steadily decreased and most recently dropped from 21 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2015. The percentage of children ages 0–17 without health insurance at the time of interview decreased from 14 percent in 1993 to 5 percent in 2015.
Between 1980 and 2015, the birth rate among adolescents ages 15–17 declined from 33 live births per 1,000 females to 10 per 1,000, a record low for the country. In 2016, the percentages of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students who reported smoking cigarettes daily in the past 30 days were the lowest in the history of the survey. Also, there was a decline in percentage of children living in food insecure households between 2014 and 2015.
Other key findings in the report include:
Thirty-two percent of U.S. children are projected to be Hispanic in 2050 (up from 25 percent in 2016), and 39 percent are projected to be White, non-Hispanic (down from 51 percent in 2016).
Family and Social Environment:
Twenty-two percent of children were native-born children with at least one foreign-born parent in 2016, and 3 percent were foreign-born children with at least one foreign-born parent.
Physical Environment and Safety:
In 2011–2014, the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels (at or above 5 micrograms lead per deciliter of blood) was 1 percent, compared with 26 percent in 1988–1994.
From 2015 to 2016, reports of illicit drug use in the past 30 days decreased for eighth graders from 8 to 7 percent, but remained steady for 10th- and 12th-grade students, at 16 percent and 24 percent in 2016.
In 2015, some 69 percent of high school completers enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college in the fall immediately following their graduation from high school.
Between 1983 and 2014, the infant mortality rate declined from 10.9 deaths per 1,000 live births to 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.