The Annie E. Casey Foundation is urging state and federal policymakers not to backtrack on gains made in improving health and well-being outcomes for children across the United States. These improvements are noted in the just-released “2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book,” which shows progress in several areas of child well-being, especially economic stability for children.
The data is also a call to action and highlights the importance of maintaining targeted investments that help American children live healthier lives, complete high school and better position them to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults. Nationally, only five percent of children in the continental United States remain uninsured, a historic low, due to the combination of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and expansions to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Limited data are reported for the Virgin Islands in the Data Book because the territory is not included in most nationwide surveys and datasets. The annual report reviews teen birth rate and low birthweight babies. According to the annual Data Book, the territory’s teen birth rate dropped 24 percent between 2010 and 2015; the percentage of low birthweight babies was 9.2 percent in 2015, a two percent increase over the same period.
A Data Book for the Virgin Islands is released annually, produced by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) and based on local data from local agencies. This year’s book for the V.I. is expected to be released during the summer.
Release Information The “2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book” will be available at 12:01 a.m. EDT, June 13, at www.aecf.org. Additional information is available at www.aecf.org/databook, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being. Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs and rankings in stories about the Data Book can use the KIDS COUNT Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org.