This report was presented as part of a Brookings forum on the well-being of American children, in cooperation with the Foundation for Child Development and Duke University.
The Brookings Institution, in cooperation with the Foundation for Child Development and Duke University, released a new index on the well-being of American children. Based on nearly thirty years of data from national surveys of seven “domains” of child well-being—defined by factors including mortality, poverty, and suicide rates; drug use; educational test scores; health insurance coverage; and crimes committed by children—the index contains valuable information on how children are faring now and how their status has changed in recent years.
Overall, the study found that:
- Children’s well-being has improved five percent over the past quarter century;
- Some domains of well-being, such as child safety and material well-being, have improved dramatically, but other domains, such as living with a single parent and child health, have declined;
- Child obesity has skyrocketed and now poses a major threat to children’s health, one of the study’s most troubling conclusions;
- The 1980s were a dangerous time for children, during which their well-being declined substantially, due in part in to changes in the structure of the economy and the American family.