America's children in brief : key national indicators of well-being, 2021
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America's children in brief : key national indicators of well-being, 2021

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      The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (Forum) is a wonderful example of how Federal agencies can increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of the government by working across agency boundaries to collaborate and innovate. The Forum was chartered in April 1997 through Executive Order No. 13045. It has since been successfully bringing together (from a very decentralized system) high-quality information that the public and policymakers can easily access and understand about our Nation’s children and youth. Working together, Federal agencies are able to set priorities on what information to collect; develop new methods for collecting such information; improve the communication of information on the status of children to the policy community and the general public; and produce more complete data on children at the Federal, state, and local levels.

      America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2021, is a compendium of indicators about our Nation’s young people. The report, the 24th produced by the Forum, presents 41 key indicators on important aspects of children’s lives. These indicators are drawn from our most reliable Federal statistics, are easily understood by broad audiences, are objectively based on substantial research, are balanced so that no single area of children’s lives dominates the report, are measured often to show trends over time, and are representative of large segments of the population rather than one particular group.

      The report continues to present key indicators in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. To ensure that the information stays relevant, the Forum periodically revises indicators, data sources, and features to maintain the relevance of the report.

      Although this report is published in 2021, the year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the statistics are based on the most recent data available at the time of the publication of report, the majority of which were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many of the data collection systems that provide information for America’s Children indicators have adapted to accommodate the emerging information needs related to the pandemic, COVID-19–related data were not available for inclusion in this report. Although children and adolescents have not experienced severe COVID-19 illness and mortality to the same degree as older adults, data through spring 2021 indicate that this has become a vulnerable group for COVID-19 illness with weekly cases among children and adolescents ages 6–17 surpassing adults age 65 and over starting in March 2021.1 In addition, COVID-19 has had a major impact on child and adolescent education, with nearly a universal shift to long-term virtual learning across the United States, and on other facets of children’s and adolescents’ well-being.

      This report was printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office in cooperation with the National Center for Health Statistics, September 2021.

      Recommended citation: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s children: Key national indicators of well-being, 2021. U.S. Government Printing Office.


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