February 11, 1998
1997, there were approximately 70 million children in the United
States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- 20.5 percent of all children under age 18 are poor.
- 11.1 percent of White children are poor.
- 39.9 percent of Black children are poor.
- 40.3 percent of Hispanic children are poor.
- 19.5 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander children are poor.
- 22.7 percent of children under age 6 are poor.
- 49.3 percent of children in mother-only families are poor.
- Of all poor children:
- 62.5 percent are White.
- 31.2 percent are Black.
- 68.8 percent are in working families.
- 68.7 percent of children live in two-parent families.
- 27.0 percent of children live in one-parent families.
- 4.3 percent of children do not live with a parent.
- An estimated 13 million children under age 6 with working parents
are in child care.
- 62 percent of women with children under age 6 are in the labor
force, as are 77 percent of women with children ages 6 to 17.
- Nearly five million children ages 5 to 14 are home alone after
school each week.
- Only approximately two out of five 3- and 4-year-olds eligible
for Head Start's comprehensive services were served in 1997.
- 29,583 babies died in 1995a rate of 7.6 for every 1,000
live births. The infant mortality rate for Black babies (15.1 for
every 1,000 live births) is decreasing but remains more than twice
that for White babies (6.3 for every 1,000 live births).
- 7.3 percent of babies were born at low birthweight (weighing less
than 5 lbs., 8 oz.) in 1995.
- In 1995, 4.2 percent of babies were born to mothers who did not
receive prenatal care or did not receive it until their last
- 11.3 million children through age 18 (about 15.1 percent) had no
form of health insurance throughout 1996.
- Nine out of 10 uninsured children have parents who work, and six
out of 10 have parents who work full time during the entire year.
- 23 percent of children between 19 and 35 months of age are not
fully vaccinated against dangerous but preventable diseases.
- 5,254 American children and teens from birth to age 19 died from
gunfire in 1995.
- 3,249 children age 19 and under were victims of firearm homicides
- 1,890 children age 19 and under died in firearm suicides and
accidents in 1995.
- 4 million children under age 12 go hungry for some part of each
month, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
- 13.2 million children received food stamps in Fiscal Year 1997.
Children make up more than half of food stamp recipients.
- 14.7 million children received free or reduced-price school
lunches in 1997. Only a portion of these children received
subsidized school breakfasts, and even fewer received summer meals.
- 7.2 million infants, children, and pregnant women received WIC
(Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
Children) benefits in Fiscal Year 1997.
- 14.2 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds in 1996 had not completed
- In 1996, only 28.1 percent of White 25- to 29-year-olds had
completed four years of college; only 14.6 percent of Blacks and
10.0 percent of Hispanics in this age group had completed college.
- 512,115 babies were born to teenage mothers in 1995, a rate of
56.8 births for every 1,000 15- to 19-year-old girls.
- 3.1 million children were reported abused or neglected in 1996;
nearly one million cases were confirmed.
- An estimated 1,046 children die from abuse and neglect each year.
- An estimated 502,000 children were in foster care in 1996.