Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. HC 2.3 General health conditions

04/01/1997

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. These reports vary little by gender; there are modest differences by age of child for some population subgroups (see Table HC 2.3).

Differences by Race. Parents reports of their childrens health vary by race. Between 1984 and 1994, black parents were less likely than white parents to report that their children were in very good or excellent health. In 1994, 72 percent of black children under age five were reported in very good or excellent health, compared to 83 percent of white children. Sixty-eight percent of black children ages five to 17 were reported in very good or excellent health, compared to 81 percent of white children in this age group (see Table HC 2.3).

Differences by Family Income. Parents reports of their childrens 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 1994, 67 percent of children under age five in families with annual incomes under $10 thousand were reported to be in very good or excellent health, compared to 90 percent of children in families with incomes of $35 thousand or more. A similar pattern exists for children ages five to 17 (see Figure HC 2.3).
 
 

Figure HC 2.3  
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Reported by Their Parents to Be in Very Good or Excellent Health, by Family Income: 1994 

HC2_3.GIF

Source: National Center for Health Statistics. Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey: United States, 1994. Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, No. 193 (table 70).
 
 

Table HC 2.3 
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Reported by Their Parents to Be in Very Good or Excellent Health: Selected Years, 1984-1994

 
     
Age: <5
Age: 5-17
     
1984
1987
1990
1992
1993
1994
1984
1987
1990
1992
1993
1994
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total
79
81
81
80
80
81
77
80
80
80
79
79
  Race
    Black
67
71
72
70
71
72
65
66
68
68
70
68
    White
81
84
83
82
82
83
80
83
83
82
81
81
  Gender
    Male
78
 
80
79
80
81
78
 
81
80
79
79
    Female
79
 
82
81
80
81
77
 
80
79
78
78
  Family Incomea
    Under $10,000          
67
         
62
    $10,000-$19,999          
74
         
68
    $20,000-$34,999          
80
         
77
    $35,000 or more          
90
         
88
 
 
Notes: aFamily 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.  

Source: National Center for Health Statistics. "Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey: United States," 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994; Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, Nos. 156, 166, 181, 189, 190, and 193, Table 70 in each.

 

 

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