Voices’ Blog

2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book Release

Posted:  -  By: Lauren Snellings

The 2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book was released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an annually published resource that tracks child well-being nationally as well as state by state and ranks the states accordingly. The report is based on the latest available data for 16 key indicators and also identifies multi-year trends, comparing statistics from 2010 to 2019. Policymakers, researchers, and advocates can continue to use this information to help shape their work and build a stronger future for children, families, and communities.

View the full 2021 Data Book.

For the 2021 report, which includes the most recent data from 2019, so it does not reflect current conditions amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we can use this data to predict what could occur. In addition to the report, a letter from the President, Lisa Hamilton, highlights the most recent data we have that reflect how parents and families are faring during the pandemic.

Overall, Virginia is ranked 13th in the nation, improving a rank since the previous year. The 2021 Data Book shows improvement in Virginia on five indicators in the KIDS COUNT Index, including:

  • Children in poverty
  • Children that lack secure employment
  • Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
  • Child and teen deaths per 100,000
  • Children living in high-poverty areas

In five areas, indicators worsened:

  • Teens not in school and not working
  • 8th graders not proficient in math
  • 4th graders not proficient in reading
  • Low birth-weight babies
  • Children and teens (ages 10 to 17) who are overweight or obese

Six indicators stayed the same:

  • High school students not graduating on time
  • Children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma
  • Teen births
  • Children without health insurance
  • Young children (ages 3 and 4) not in school
  • Children in single-parent families

Virginia ranked 14th in Economic Well-Being and improved in 3 out of the 4 indicators since 2010. Highlights include:

  • There was a 2% decrease for children whose parents lack secure employment from 2018 to 2019.
  • Teens not in school and not working increased from 2018 to 2019.

Virginia ranked 6th in Education and worsened in 2 out of the 4 indicators and remained the same in the other 2 indicators. Highlights include:

  • A 5% decrease in the percent of fourth-graders reading at proficiency from 2017 to 2019.
  • A 2% decrease in the percent of eight-graders scoring proficient at math from 2017 to 2019.

Virginia ranked 18th in Family and Community and improved in 1 out of the 4 indicators and remained the same in the other 3 indicators.

Virginia ranked 24th in Health. For this domain, Virginia stayed the same for 1, improved in 1, and worsened for 2 of the 4 indicators. Highlights include:

  • Although the percent of children without health insurance remained the same from 2018 to 2019, 5,000 more children had insurance.
  • A decrease in the child and teen death rate from 2018 to 2019.

The Virginia KIDS COUNT data center includes these indicators and hundreds more at the state and even local level over time. For example, interested in learning more about the percent of children in poverty across Virginia? The Virginia KIDS COUNT data center has data available by locality and race. Learn more.

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