Voices for Virginia’s Children is happy support the release of the State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 from our partners Zero to Three. This Yearbook resource includes downloadable, user-friendly reports, that include 60 indicators of wellbeing and policies to gauge how babies in Virginia are doing. This resource gives a pre-pandemic snapshot of key indicators related to specific topics. It also provides advocates and states leaders the ability to explore the data by race, ethnicity, and income.
The story told this year includes the ingrained barriers families faced before the pandemic. The heightened challenges during the crisis points to the urgency of a national agenda of bold, durable policies that address deep-seated inequities and give every baby the ingredients to thrive. Here are some highlights pertaining to Virginia:
Virginia is home to 299,132 babies, representing 3.5percent of the state’s population.
As many as 31.7 percent live in households with incomes less than twice the federal poverty line (in 2019, about $51,500 a year for a family of four), placing them at economic disadvantage.
Virginia performs better than national averages on key indicators, such as the percentages of babies breastfed at 6 months (62.2 percent);
and babies receiving recommended vaccinations (77.8 percent)
and mothers reporting less than optimal mental health (16.4 percent).
The state is performing worse than national averages on indicators such as the percentages of babies receiving preventive dental care (27.4 percent);
and uninsured babies in families with low income (5.7 percent).
The state’s ranking in this domain reflects indicators on which it is performing better than the national average, such as the percentages of babies living in crowded housing (10.1 percent);
and babies experiencing housing instability, moved 3 or more times (1.0 percent).
Virginia is doing worse than the national average on indicators such as the percentages of parents who report being resilient (80.1 percent), in fact we rank at the very bottom of this indicator.
Positive Early Learning Experiences
The state’s ranking in this domain reflects indicators on which it is performing better than the national average, such as the higher percentage of parents who report singing songs (61.5 percent).
Virginia is doing worse than the national average on indicators such as the lower percentage of infants and toddlers who received a developmental screening (29.5 percent).