The Intersection Webinar Recap: Child Well-Being & Educational Outcomes: Findings from 2019 KIDS COUNT

Policymakers across the country are increasingly relying on the use of data to make informed, strategic decisions on complex issues facing children. We recently had the opportunity to observe the importance of data first-hand at The Hunt Institute’s 2019 Early Childhood Leadership Summit. During the Summit, state teams utilized data highlighting key demographics and measured outcomes for their individual states to identify opportunities to improve early childhood systems through policy changes.

This week, we were fortunate to have Noah Berger, Director of Policy Reform & Advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, join us for our Intersection Webinar to give a broad audience the chance to explore additional data about young children. Noah reviewed the Foundation’s 2019 KIDS COUNT, an annual comprehensive project and premier source of data on children and families.

Using 2017 data, the 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book assesses child well-being in the United States, focusing on 16 indicators measured across four areas: education, economic well-being, health, and family and community.

Since its original release in 1990, the child population in the U.S. has increased from 64.2 million to 73.7 million kids in 2017. Not surprisingly, the current population of children is more diverse, with children of color increasing from 31 percent to 47 percent of all children. The 2019 KIDS COUNT data revealed that while measurable progress has been seen over the last 30 years, there is still much work that needs to be done to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to thrive.  

Learn more about the 2019 KIDS COUNT from our key takeaways and full webinar recording below.

Key Takeaways | Child Well-Being & Educational Outcomes: Findings from 2019 KIDS COUNT

  • Since the first Data Book was published in 1990, there has been “virtually no progress” made on child poverty as one in six children continue to live in poverty. Additionally, large racial disparities remain across the 16 indicators.
  • Since 2009, two education data trends have remained constant, including young children (ages three and four) who do not attend school (52 percent) and eighth-graders who scored below proficient in math (67 percent). Two education data trends have improved since 2009 – fourth-grade reading proficiency and on-time high school graduation.


    Overall, every measured area of economic well-being has improved since 2009.

  • Since 2009, the number of low birth-weight babies has increased. There was little change in the number of children without health insurance as well as the percent of teens ages 12 to 17 who abused alcohol or drugs in the past year.

  • Noah shared four major conclusions from this year’s Data Book:
    • There is very slow progress in increasing reading proficiency. Two-thirds of students are still not proficient readers.
    • Child poverty is an obstacle to success, however there has been no progress on reducing child poverty since 1990. Child poverty is 60 percent higher in states with the lowest fourth-grade reading scores
    • We are failing kids of color as indicated by large racial disparities that continue to exist across measured outcome areas.
    • In 2016, about half of the 50 states spent less on education than they did in 2008.
  • One of the recommendations coming out of this year’s report was the importance of counting all kids in the 2020 Census. Young children are the most under-counted age group in the Census; in fact, one million kids were not counted in the 2010 Census. This has a direct effect on federal funding for states. The Foundation is encouraging states to identify strategies to help ensure a more accurate count of young children. This includes targeted messaging at the local level and engagement with schools, libraries, pediatricians, and community groups.

Watch the webinar below:

Save the dates for our next Intersection Webinars: July 31, Aug. 14, Aug. 28, and Sept. 11. Topics range from higher education to innovation in state testing to culturally responsive teaching. Register here. 


See you at The Intersection! 

The Hunt Team