Indicator List for Child Well-Being

Child Well-Being

From our start more than 30 years ago, Child Trends has studied and reported on the well-being of children and youth. Our work in this area influences policies and practices in the U.S. and around the world. For us, child well-being is multi-dimensional and best measured over time. We look at positive and negative indicators that assess well-being across outcomes, behaviors and processes. We also review indicators that cover children of all ages from birth to their transition to adulthood. Our aim is to provide child well-being indicators that are easily and readily understood by policymakers, practitioners, and the public.

You can search our DataBank by topic and by the stages of children’s lives to examine trends and statistics measuring child well-being.

Indicator List for Child Well-Being



In the United States, asthma is more common among boys than it is among girls. In 2013, nine percent of males under age 18 were reported to have asthma, compared with seven percent of females.


Autism Spectrum Disorders

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) had risen markedly in recent years.  However, it is too soon to know whether these data indicate a true increase in the numbers of children with this condition, or a growing recognition of the diagnosis by parents and health professionals.



In 2014, 13 percent of children, ages two through 17, experienced physical bullying, and 36 percent experienced teasing or emotional bullying, in the past year.


Child Maltreatment

The rate of substantiated child maltreatment, as of 2013, has shown modest declines in the past six years, and is at a level lower than at any time since 1990. The rates of physical and sexual abuse have declined the most, and rates of neglect have declined the least.

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Children in Poverty

In 2010, more than one in five children (22 percent) lived in families with incomes below the poverty line, the highest level since 1993; by 2014, this had fallen to 21 percent. Black and Hispanic children, children living in single-mother families, and children under five are even more likely to be poor.


Children with Limitations

According to report by a parent or other adult household member, nearly one in five children, ages five to 17, (19 percent) had one or more limitations in 2013. These include limitations in normal physical activities due to health conditions and impairments, difficulty seeing, difficulty hearing, diagnosed learning disabilities, or difficulty bathing or showering without assistance.

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