2005 Kids Count Data Book: State Profiles of Child Well-Being
KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. This 192-page publication is the sixteenth annual profile of child well-being published by AECF. It begins with an essay titled "Helping Our Most Vulnerable Families Overcome Barriers to Work and Achieve Financial Success." In the essay, the authors examine the impact of substance abuse, domestic violence, and prior incarceration on employment. The ten measures of well-being used in the KIDS COUNT project reflect a wide range of factors affecting the well-being of children, reflect experiences across a range of developmental stages, and permit legitimate comparisons because they are consistent across states and over time. These indicators are: (1) percent of low birthweight babies; (2) infant mortality rate; (3) child death rate; (4) teen death rate; (5) teen birth rate; (6) percent of teens who are high school dropouts; (7) percent of teens not attending school and not working; (8) percent of children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment; (9) percent of children in poverty; and (10) percent of children in single-parent households. While each of the ten indicators used to rank states are clearly related to each other, statistical analysis indicates that each of the ten adds an independent assessment of child well being. Modified Author Abstract.