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Latino Children and Families

Latino children, youth, and families are a large, fast-growing, diverse – and largely understudied — segment of the U.S. population. Latinos represent 16 percent of our nation’s population and 25 percent of our public elementary students. Child Trends explores an array of topics focusing on Latino children and families, including teen pregnancy and other aspects of reproductive health; early childhood development; positive youth development; family formation; effective programs; and indicators related to child well-being. We provide a range of research services from literature reviews, survey design, data analysis, evaluation, and qualitative research.

To help inform how programs and policy can better serve Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates are pleased to announce the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, funded by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration of Children & Families. The Center is made up of a strong team of national experts in Hispanic issues, and is a hub of research to improve the lives of Hispanics across three priority areas: poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and early care and education. Read more about the Center and its Summer Research Fellowship Program.

Featured Publications

Making National Data Local: Using American FactFinder to Describe Local Hispanic Communities

Jun 2016 | Marta Alvira-Hammond; Elizabeth Wildsmith

Local agencies and leaders work hard to meet the service needs of low-income Hispanic populations in their communities. Having up-to-date, high-quality information on the local Hispanic population—and the diversity within this population—is critical. In this guide, we describe how agencies can use the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder tool to get data from the American Community Survey (ACS) for their local area. We also demonstrate how to generate results answering these questions for multiple time periods, how to export American FactFinder results into user-friendly tables, and how to interpret some basic results.

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Online Data Tools for Exploring Local Demographics: A Focus on Hispanics

Jun 2016 | Marta Alvira-Hammond; Elizabeth Wildsmith

Having up-to-date, high-quality information about local populations can help community agencies and leaders better understand their community’s needs. This resource summarizes key characteristics—detailed in the box below—of 10 online tools that the public can use to obtain estimates of local Hispanic populations. It also includes information about how well each tool allows users to document the diversity (in nativity, English proficiency, etc.) within the Hispanic population. Together, these online tools give users access to a vast amount of information on the Hispanic population.

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The Invisible Ones: How Latino Children Are Left Out of Our Nation's Census Count

Apr 2016 | William O’Hare; Yeris Mayol-Garcia; Elizabeth Wildsmith; Alicia Torres

The decennial census, conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, collects critical information on the U.S. population. An accurate count of that population helps ensure fair political representation and the equitable distribution of public services. This report, from Child Trends and the NALEO Educational Fund, describes the extent to which young Latino children are missed in the census count, and steps that can be taken to reduce that risk in 2020.

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Latinos and Literacy: Hispanic Students' Progress in Reading

Mar 2016 | Manica F. Ramos; David Murphey

This report highlights growth in U.S. Latino students' reading scores over the last decade, using scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment to compare progress across states and major cities, and for some major urban school districts. The study was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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