NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Good News On The Kiddie Front

July 14, 2000

A combined report from 20 federal agencies has some good news for parents. U.S. children are less likely today to die in childhood, be in motor vehicle accidents or live in poverty.

Here are some highlights from the report, entitled, "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2000,"

  • Birth rates among females ages 15-17 dropped from 32 per 1,000 in 1997 to 30 per 1,000 in 1998.
  • The death rate from all causes for 1- to 4-year-olds was cut in half from 1990 to 1998, to 34 deaths per 100,000 -- while the rate for children ages 5 to 14 decreased by one-third to 20 per 100,000.
  • Fewer youths died from firearms and motor vehicle crashes in 1998 than in previous years.
  • The number of crimes against youths decreased from 44 per 1,000 in 1993 to 25 per 1,000 in 1998.

Serious violent crimes committed by youths ages 12 to 17 declined by more than 50 percent from 1993 to 1998.

However, the proportion of children ages 3 to 5 who were read to daily by family members dropped from 57 percent in 1996 to 53 percent in 1999.

Source: Sherice L. Shields, "Teen Pregnancy, Crime Rates Hit Record Lows, Report Says," USA Today, July 14, 2000.


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