The State of America’s Children® 20212023-05-19T15:13:32-05:00

The State of America’s Children® 2021

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Since the Children’s Defense Fund last published our annual State of America’s Children report in February 2020, our children have experienced a year of unprecedented upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a racial reckoning years in the making. Every aspect of children’s lives has been impacted by these shifts more quickly than data can track; even the most recent available data sets do not fully encompass how this past year has shaped our lives. This, of course, includes our 2021 State of America’s Children report. Because, as one element of the report makes clear, “Our Children are Not Immune.”

A year marked by such dramatic change and drastic negative impact on children’s lives must be followed by one of healing and restoration, coupled with bold action.

We hope this report will serve as a call-to-action to join us as we take the bold steps necessary to fulfill our vision of a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive.

Explore the Report

Child Population
Child Poverty
Income and Wealth Inequality
Housing and Homeless
Child Hunger and Nutrition

Chapter 5:
Child Hunger and Nutrition

Child Health

Chapter 6:
Child Health

Early Childhood
Child Welfare
Youth Justice
Gun Violence
Immigrant Children
View State-by-State Factsheets
View the Tables

Each Day in America for All Children:

2 mothers die from complications of childbirth.
5 children are killed by abuse or neglect.
8 children or teens die by suicide.
9 children or teens are killed with a gun.
20 children or teens die from accidents.
46 children or teens are injured with a gun.
59 babies die before their first birthday.
121 children are arrested for violent crimes.
223 children are arrested for drug crimes.
514 public school students are corporally punished.*
678 babies are born without health insurance.
827 babies are born into extreme poverty.
860 babies are born with low birthweight.
1,541 babies are born into poverty.
1,785 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
1,909 children are arrested.
2,906 high school students drop out.*
14,206 public school students are suspended.*

*Based on 180 school days a year

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Media Contact:

Beki San Martin
Communications and Outreach Associate