American's children in brief : key national indicators of well-being, 1997
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American's children in brief : key national indicators of well-being, 1997

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  • English

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      The future of our Nation—our democracy, our economy, and our social fabric—depends upon how we now protect and nurture our children. Our ability to create a bright future for our Nation’s children depends upon our having access to accurate, timely, and comprehensive information on their condition. Such information can and should guide public and private decision makers in our communities and our capitals. The Federal Government measures the condition of our economy and our environment with great frequency and in varied ways. The Nation’s children deserve no less.

      The Federal Government now collects data on children through many mechanisms involving many agencies. These agencies report regularly on particular aspects of children’s condition: health and health care, educational achievement, economic status, family structure, and others. This scattered reporting cannot always provide the focus needed to decide which problems facing children deserve attention. It also cannot comprehensively track the Nation’s progress toward its goals for children. And it cannot adequately help us hold our- selves accountable—as families, communities, and governments at all levels—for the optimal development of our most important national resource: our children.

      This report is the first in a planned annual effort to monitor the well-being of the Nation’s children. Developed jointly by the Federal agencies that provide data on children, it presents twenty-five key indicators of the condition of children. This unique report covers a wide range of key indicators of children’s well-being which are monitored through official statistics: children’s eco- nomic security, their health, their behavior and social environment, and their education.

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