At a Glance: Children, Youth, and Families in the United States

Picture1According to the U.S. Census children and youth under the age of 18 make up over 23% of the population. As such a large proportion of our population, the focus on children and families is vital to successful achievement for the U.S. in economic, health, and education measures in a global market. However, the state of children and families is far from ideal in the United States.

A Pew study found that over 60% of two-parent households report that both parents work full or part time. Despite this increase in dual income households, the number of children living in poverty is a serious issue in the United States.  The KIDS COUNT data center reports that 22% of children were living in poverty in 2014. Black or African, Hispanic or Latino, and American Indian children proved to have higher rates of living in poverty than the national average.


In 2015, KIDS COUNT released their data book on the state and national trends in child well-being across four main domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2015). The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Project. Retrieved from

Other Key Statistics

  • The rate of youth (16-24) who are detained, incarcerated, or placed in a residential facility has decreased in recent years. However, the U.S. still locks up more youth than any other developed country.
  • In January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless on a given night in the United States
    • Over 30% of these individuals are 24 years of age or younger
    • 40% of all youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ
  • In July of 2015, 8 million youth ages 16-24 were unemployed with an unemployment rate of 12.2%, more than double the national average

For more information on the role the Heller School for Social Policy and Management plays in children, youth, and family policy, please visit the Center for Youth and Communities.

Oliver Supitux
MPP ’17
Children, Youth, and Families Concentrator


2 thoughts on “At a Glance: Children, Youth, and Families in the United States

  1. We must be willing to pay to resolve this pfoblem. Bernie Sander’s as a Democratic Socialist has developed a comprehensive tax program including free college educ as tion and a realignment of taxing the wealthy.


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