Statistics on children and families change in key areas

August 1, 2011

Preterm births have declined, infant mortality before the first birthday has dropped, and the number of babies born to adolescents has fallen.

Preterm births have declined, infant mortality before the first birthday has dropped, and the number of babies born to adolescents has fallen.

These and other findings appear in America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011, the latest federal statistical report on the nation's children compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, comprised of 22 federal agencies that collect, analyze, and convey data on issues related to children and families.

Its latest report is a compendium of 41 key indicators in 7 domains affecting children's lives. The indicators are measured regularly and updated to show trends over time for large segments of the population.

Preterm births before 37 weeks have declined from 12.3% in 2008 to 12.2% in 2009. Infant mortality before the first birthday has dropped from 6.6 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 6.4 per 1,000 births in 2009.

The number of babies born to adolescents aged 15 to 17 years has fallen from 21.7 per 1,000 girls in 2008 to 20.1 per 1,000 girls in 2009.

The percentage of children through age 17 with asthma showed no significant change from 2008 to 2009. However, the percentage of children with asthma shows a steady upward trend between 2001 and 2009.

And, approximately 2.5% of US children are adopted; 21.5% are of different race than their parents, and 29% have moderate to severe health problems compared with 12% of all children.

Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2011.