UH Manoa Center on the Family releases 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sylvia Yuen, (808) 956-5303
UH Mānoa Center on the Family
Posted: Jul 28, 2009

In a new state-by-state study on the well-being of America‘s children, Hawaiʻi ranks number 18 in the nation. In addition, the 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book reveals that, since 2000, Hawaiʻi has improved in six of 10 measures affecting child well-being.

Hawaiʻi KIDS COUNT is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation through a grant to the Center on the Family at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

This year‘s 20th annual Data Book is complemented by the expanded KIDS COUNT Data Center that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being covering national, state, county, and city information. To access information for Hawaiʻi, go to http://datacenter.kidscount.org/hi.

"Hawaiʻi can take pride in the fact that it‘s ranked among the top 10 states in the nation on four indicators of child well-being: percent of children in poverty, percent of teens who are high school dropouts, infant mortality rate, and the percent of children in single-parent families" said Sylvia Yuen, director of the Center on the Family at UH Mānoa. "But the increases since 2000 in low-birthweight babies, child death rate, teen death rate, and children in single-parent families are cause for concern. Moreover, the fraying of the health and social services network of support during these tough economic times increases the challenges we face in ensuring children‘s well-being."

Some highlights of the report:

· Hawaiʻi improved on six indicators from 2000 to the latest available data at time of publication (2006 or 2007): infant mortality rate; teen birth rate; percent of teens who are high school dropouts; percent of teens not attending school and not working; percent of children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment; and percent of children in poverty.

· Between 2000 and 2005, the teen birth rate in HawaiʻI decreased from 46 to 36 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19. However, the state‘s teen birth rate climbed back to 41 births per 1,000 females in 2006, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.

· The percentage of teens ages 16-19 who were high school dropouts decreased from 5 percent in 2000 to 4 percent in 2007. This compares to 7 percent nationally in 2007.