Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. PF 1.1 Number of children

04/01/1997

Though the total population of the United States has grown steadily over the last four decades, the trend in the number of children has been less steady, and the number of children has even shrunk during some periods.

Figure PF 1.1 presents trends in the total number of children under age 18 from 1950 through 1996, with projections through the year 2020. From 1950 to 1960, roughly the period of the baby boom, the number of children increased by 36 percent from 47.3 to 64.5 million. The number rose at a more modest rate in the ensuing decade to 69.8 million in 1970. The number actually declined to 63.7 million by 1980, and held steady over the next decade. Between 1990 and 1996, the number of children rose by more than five million to 69.4 million. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of children will continue to rise over the next several decades, reaching 77.6 million by the year 2020.

Differences by Race and Ethnicity. Between 1996 and the year 2020, the number of children is projected to grow for all race and ethnic groups presented in the table (see Table PF 1.1). Increases will be proportionally greatest for Hispanic children, whose numbers are projected to grow from 10.0 to 17.2 million by the year 2020, an increase of more than 70 percent. Should these projections prove accurate, Hispanics could become the largest minority child population as early as 2010.
 

Figure PF 1.1 
Number of Children Under Age 18 in the U.S.: 19502020

FIGPF1_1.GIF

 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-25, No. 311, Estimates of the Population of the United States by Single Years of Age, Color, and Sex, 1900 to 1959, pages 22-23, 42-43. Series P-25 No. 519, Estimates of the Population of the United States, By Age, Sex, and Race: April 1, 1960 to July 1, 1973, Table 2. Series P-25, No. 917, Preliminary Estimates of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, and Race: 1970 to 1981, Table 2. Estimates of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1990 to 1995, Updated Tables, Appendix A. Series P-25, No. 1130, Projections of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050, Table 2.

 

Table PF 1.1 
Number of Children Under 18 by Age and Race/Ethnicity: 19502020 (Number in Millions)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Projected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
1996a
2000
2010
2020
 
 
                 
All Children 
47.3
64.5
69.8
63.7
64.2
69.4
70.8
72.5
77.6
Age
 
0-5
19.1
24.3
20.9
19.6
22.5
23.5
22.9
23.9
26.4
 
6-11
15.3
21.8
24.6
20.8
21.6
23.2
24.3
23.6
25.8
 
12-14
12.9
18.4
24.3
23.3
20.1
22.7
23.6
25
25.4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Race/Ethnicity 
 
White
41.3
55.7
59.3
52.5
51.3
54.9
55.4
55.2
57.9
 
Non-whiteb
6
8.8
10.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Black
 
8.1
9.5
9.5
9.9
10.8
11.3
12.2
13.4
 
Hispanicc
 
 
 
5.6
7.9
10
11
13.7
17.2
 
Asian
 
 
 
1.1
2.2
2.9
3.3
4.3
5.4
 
American Indian
 
 
 
0.5
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.9
1
                     
Note: a1996 estimate is for July 1. 
b"Non-white" refers to all races other than white, and includes black, Native American, Asian, and any other race except white. 
cPeople of Hispanic origin can be of any race. 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-25, No. 311, Estimates of the Population of the United States by Single Years of Age, Color, and Sex, 1900 to 1959, pages 22-23, 42-43. Series P-25, No. 519, Estimates of the Population of the United States, By Age, Sex, and Race: April 1, 1960 to July 1, 1973, Table 2. Series P-25, No. 917, Preliminary Estimates of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, and Race: 1970 to 1981, Table 2. Estimates of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1990 to 1995, Updated Tables, Appendix A. Series P-25, No. 1130, Projections of the Population of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050, Table 2.

 

 

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