America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009

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Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

An annual federal interagency report shows a few small changes in the well-being of America’s 73.9 million children, including an increased poverty rate and an increased rate of health insurance coverage.

The report, which includes a summary of 40 statistical indicators of the nation’s 0 to 17-year-olds, breaks its research into categories of economic circumstances, physical environment, health, behavior and education, among others.

Among the economic indicators, the report shows the national poverty rate for children increased from 17 percent in 2006 to 18 percent in 2007. A more promising statistic can be found in the health care department, as 89 percent of children are shown to have had insurance coverage at some point in 2007, up from 88 percent in 2006.

The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, which has compiled this report annually since 1997, consists of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education and Health and Human Services and seven other agencies. Among its priorities for this publication, the forum cites the dissemination of accurate statistics on children and families for policymakers and the general public. Researchers utilized a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Free, 216 pages. (888) 275-4772,