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Statistics: Situation of children in the US

CRY America has identified 2 key issues affecting children in USA and will look at these issues as priorities for financial years 2008 and 2009. The 2 priority issues for support will be Child Health and Child Abuse & Neglect.

1.    Issue of Child Abuse and Neglect in the USA:

During Federal fiscal year 2006

  • 905,000 children were maltreated.  The rate of victimization was 12.1 per 1,000 children in the population
  • 3.6 million children received an investigation by CPS agencies.  The rate of investigation was 47.3 per 1,000 children
  • The rate of children who received an investigation rose from 43.8 / 1,000 children in 2002 to 47.8 per 1,000 children in 2006
  • The highest incidence of victims (20.1 or greater per 1,000 children) were in the states of Iowa, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Florida.

During Federal Financial Year 2006:

  • 64.1% of victims experienced neglect
  • 16% of victims were physically abused
  • 8.8% of victims were sexually abused
  • 6.6% of victims were psychologically abused
  • 2.2% of victims were medically abused
  • 15.1% victims experienced other types of maltreatment such as abandonment, threats of harm to the child or congenital drug addiction. 

For FFY 2006, victimization rates declined with the age of the child.  The age categories with the highest rates of victimization were:

  • Age <1: 24.4 per 1,000 children
  • Age 1-3 years: 14.2 per 1,000 children
  • Age 4-7 years: 13.5 per 1,000 children.

For FFY 2006, the highest rates of victimization by ethnic group were:

  • African American: 19.8 per 1,000 children of the same ethnicity.
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native: 15.9 per 1,000 children of the same ethnicity.
  • Multiple races: 15.4 per 1,000 children of the same ethnicity.
  • 48.8% of all the victims were White, 22.8% of the victims were African American, and 18.4% of the victims were Hispanic.

For FFY 2006, the victim-perpetrator relationship, by the 4 largest categories, was:

  • 39.9% were victimized by the mother alone.
  • 17.8% were victimized by the father and mother.
  • 17.6% were victimized by the father alone.
  • 10% were victimized by non-parent perpetrators.

For FFY 2006, child fatalities were:

  • 78% of children killed were younger than 4 years.  44% of children in this category were <1 year of age.  The youngest children experience the highest fatality rate.
  • 11.9% were 4-7 years; 4.8% were 8-11 years; 5.4% were 12-17 years; Fatality decreased, in general, with age.
  • The largest category, by ethnicity, of fatalities were: 43% of all fatalities were White children, 29.4% were African American children, and 17% were Hispanic children.
  • 75.9% of the fatalities were caused by one or more parents.  27.4% of the fatalities were caused by the mother acting alone.
  • Maltreatment, by largest three categories, relating to fatalities were neglect (41.1%), maltreatment combinations (31.4%) and physical abuse (22.4%).

For FFY 2006:

  • 57.9% of perpetrators were women (median age of 31), 42.1% men (median age of 34). The racial distribution of the perpetrators were similar to the victims.
  • 60.4% of the perpetrators neglected the child, 10.3% physically abused the child and 7% sexually abused the child.

2. Issue of Child Health in the USA: in the fiscal year 2006:

o    6.9 million children (10%) had no health insurance coverage in 2006

  • 13% of children in families with incomes <$20,000
  • 17% of children in families with an income from $20,000-$34,999 had no health insurance, compared with 3% of children in families with an income of $75,000 or more. 
  • Children in poor/near poor families were more likely to be uninsured and have unmet or delayed medical care than children in families that were not poor. 
  • 1.8 million children (2%) were unable to get medical care due to cost, and 2.9 million (4%) children had delayed medical care due to concern with cost. 
  • Children in single mother families were more likely to be unable to get medical care / receive delayed medical care compared to children in families with two parents

o    Non-Hispanic Black children were more likely to have two or more visits to an emergency room in the last 12 months than non-Hispanic White children or Hispanic children.  Children with Medicaid / public coverage were more likely to have two or more emergency room visits in the last 12 months than children with no health insurance or children with private health insurance.

o    School loss days due to illness or injury:

  • Children in families with lowest income were twice as more likely as children in families with the highest income to have been absent from school for 11 days or more. 
  • Children in single mother families were twice as likely to be absent from school for 11 days or more in the last 12 months due to illness or injury than children in a two-parent family.

o    In 2006, 4.5 million children (7%), 2-17 years of age, had unmet dental needs because their families could not afford treatment.

o    9.9m children under 18 years (14%) were diagnosed with asthma; 6.8 million children (9%) still have asthma - children from poor families more likely to have asthma.

o    4.7 million children, from 3-17 years of age (8%), had a learning disability.  10% boys had learning disabilities vs. 6% of girls.  4.5 million children, ages 3-17 of age (7%) had ADHD.  Boys were two times as likely to have ADHD than girls.  Poorer families (incomes < $20,000) had a higher percentage of children with learning disabilities than children from families with an income of $75,000 or greater.


CRY America is the sole representative of the CRY name & trademarks in the USA. CRY America is a 501c3 registered organization and all donations to CRY
America are tax-deductible. CRY America, PO. Box 850948, Braintree, MA 02185-0948. Tel. 339-235-0792 and 617-959-1273.
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