Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. HC 2.3 General Health Conditions: Percentage of Children in Very Good or Excellent Health

01/01/2000

Most children in the United States are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health. The percentage of all children under age 18 reported to be in very good or excellent health has remained at about 80 percent since 1984.

Differences by Race. Parents’ reports of their children’s health vary by race. Between 1984 and 1996, black parents were less likely than white parents to report that their children were in very good or excellent health. In 1996, 75 percent of black children under age 5 were reported in very good or excellent health, compared with 82 percent of white children. Seventy percent of black children ages 5 to 17 were reported in very good or excellent health, compared with 81 percent of white children in this age group (see Table HC 2.3).

Differences by Family Income. Parents’ reports of their children’s health also vary by family income, with higher-income families more likely to report that their children are in very good or excellent health. For example, in 1997, 68 percent of children under age 18 who fell below the poverty line were reported to be in very good or excellent health, compared with 86 percent for children at or above the poverty line. Sixty-seven percent of children under age 5 in families with annual incomes under $10,000 were reported to be in very good or excellent health, compared with 87 percent of children in families with annual incomes of $35,000 or more in 1996. A similar pattern exists for children ages 5 to 17 (see Figure HC 2.3.A).

Table HC 2.3 Percentage of children under age 18 in the United States who are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health, by age, race, gender, poverty status, and family income:a Selected years, 1984–1997

  1984 1990 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997b
Ages 0-17
Total 78 81 80 79 79 81 80 81
Poverty status
Below poverty 62 66 65 64 64 65 64 68
At or above poverty 82 84 83 83 83 85 84 86
Under age 5
Total 79 81 80 80 81 81 81 62
Race
White 81 83 82 82 83 83 82 86
Black 67 72 70 71 72 72 75 77
Gender
Male 78 80 79 80 81 80 80 83
Female 79 82 81 80 81 82 81 84
Annual family incomea
Under $10,000 67 73
$10,000-$19,999 74 78
$20,000-$34,999 82 82
$35,000 or more 87 91
Poverty status
Below poverty 66 69 67 68 68 66 68 74
At or above poverty 82 84 84 84 84 86 85 88
Ages 5-17
Total 77 80 80 79 79 80 79 82
Race
White 80 83 82 81 81 82 81 84
Black 65 68 68 70 68 70 70 70
Gender
Male 78 81 80 79 79 80 79 81
Female 77 80 79 78 78 80 79 81
Annual family incomea
Under $10,000 59 64
$10,000-$19,999 68 69
$20,000-$34,999 77 76
$35,000 or more 88 89
Poverty status
Below poverty 60 64 64 63 62 64 62 65
At or above poverty 81 84 83 82 82 85 83 85

 a Family income is not adjusted in the National Health Interview Survey for comparison over time; therefore, family income is shown only for the most recent year. Income breaks are those provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.

b In 1997, the National Health Interview Survey was redesigned. Data for 1997 are not strictly comparable with earlier data.

Sources: Data from the National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics (unpublished tabulations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other estimates as published in America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2000, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Table HEALTH1, available online at http://childstats.gov/ac1998/xhealth1.htm); Benson, & Marono, 1996, Table 70; National Center for Health Statistics. Also previous issues of this report [Series 10, 156, 166, 181, 189, 190, and 199 (Table 70 in each)].

Figure HC 2.3.A Percentage of children under age 18 in the United States who are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health, by age and family income: 1996

Figure HC 2.3.A Percentage of children under age 18 in the United States who are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health, by age and family income: 1996

Source: Unpublished data from the National Health Interview Survey, provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.


Figure HC 2.3.B Percentage of children under age 18 in the United States who are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health, by poverty status: 1984-1996

Figure HC 2.3.B Percentage of children under age 18 in the United States who are reported by their parents to be in very good or excellent health, by poverty status: 1984-1996

a In 1997, the National Health Interview Survey was redesigned. Data for 1997 are not strictly comparable with earlier data.

Sources: Data from the National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics (unpublished tabulations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and other estimates as published in America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 1998, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Table HEALTH1, available online at http://childstats.gov/ac1998/xhealth1.htm); Benson, & Marono, 1996, Table 70; Also previous issues of this report [Series 10, Nos. 156, 166, 181, 189, 190, and 199 (Table 70 in each)].

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