September | October 2018

Now Available: America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2018

thumbnail of America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2018The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a collection of 23 federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families, has released America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2018. The report focuses on six measures of the status of children—exposure to violence, residential placement of juveniles, poverty and extreme poverty, health insurance continuity, homelessness, and prescription opioid misuse and use disorders.

The report also includes updated statistics on children and families across 41 indicators in the areas of family and social environment, economic circumstances, healthcare, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. OJJDP oversaw the collection of data for well-being indicators related to two of the six measures—exposure to violence and residential placement of juveniles. Highlights from OJJDP data in this year’s report include:

  • Exposure to violence. More than one-third of all children surveyed in 2014 had experienced a physical assault and 5 percent had been sexually victimized in the past year.
  • Residential placement of juveniles. The overall residential placement rate, which calculates the number of juvenile offenders placed in secure and nonsecure residential facilities, fell from 356 per 100,000 juveniles in 1997 to 152 per 100,000 in 2015.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Poverty and extreme poverty. In 2016, 18 percent of all children ages 0–17 were living in poverty (that is, in families with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty threshold), down from 22 percent in 2010. The percentage of children living in families in extreme poverty (below 50 percent of the poverty threshold) was 8 percent in 2016, down from 10 percent in 2010.
  • Homelessness. In the 2015–16 school year, 1.4 million students (or about 3 percent of students in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools) were reported as being homeless.
  • Prescription opioid misuse and use disorders. Among youth ages 12–17 in 2016, 0.9 million (3.5 percent) had misused prescription opioids in the past year.


OJJDP data sources for this year’s America’s Children in Brief report include the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement and the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence.

Information on the agencies participating in the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics is available online.