Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. Indicators Included in the Report

01/01/2000

This report presents a broad and carefully chosen collection of national estimates of child and youth well-being. It reports indicators that have been collected more than once over the last few years so that trends may be presented. Where possible, trends are presented from the 1970s through the 1990s. In a few cases, data for earlier years are also presented, as are projections into the future.

Decisions regarding which indicators to include in the report have been guided by a combination of scientific and practical considerations. In preparation for the first edition of this report, a list of indicators was culled from over 20 papers presented at a major national conference on indicators of child well-being. At this conference, nationally recognized experts representing a broad spectrum of disciplines and research interests related to child well-being recommended key indicators that should be tracked on a regular basis by the federal statistical system.

The final list of indicators was modified based on a number of practical considerations that included data availability (the data needed to be available for a nationally representative sample and on a regular basis), timeliness (the estimates had to be available for 1990 or later), and quality and consistency (the data had to be both reliable and consistently measured over time). Some sections of this report, mostly sections one and two, have been significantly revised since the 1999 edition of this report. Some indicators have been combined, such as low and very low birthweight, while other indicators have been rewritten or replaced with new sources of data. A new indicator on the number of births in the United States (PF 1.6) has been added, while several other indicators have been removed. Indicators have been removed for a variety of reasons, such as out-of-date information or replication of information in other reports produced by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services. The indicators that have been removed are:

  • Children as a percentage of the dependent population;
  • Long-term childhood poverty;
  • Effect of government cash and near-cash transfer programs on poverty among persons living in families with children under 18;
  • Long-term welfare dependence;
  • Parental labor force detachment;
  • Secure labor force attachment; and
  • Lead exposure.

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