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Minority Children’s Health Gets Poor Report Card
by Pam Chwedyk Minority Nurse Writer
In the year 2000, 86% of Caucasian children in the U.S. were reported by their parents to be in excellent or very good health, compared to only 75% of Hispanic children and 74% of African-American children. In addition, about 70% of youngsters from families living below the poverty line were reported as being very healthy, while the figure for children in higher-income families was 85%.
These are some of the key health-related findings of the sixth annual America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being report, published in July 2002. Compiled each year by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the report monitors the status of the nation’s children in several critical areas, including health, education and economic security.
Other interesting minority health statistics in the study include:
The percentage of low-birthweight babies varies widely within Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander subgroups. For example, women of Chinese origin had the lowest percentage of low-birthweight infants (5.1%) while women of Filipino descent had the highest (8.5%).
In 2000, birth rates for pregnant teen girls ages 15 to 17 were 16 per 1,000 for Caucasians, compared to 40 for Native Americans, 52 for African Americans and 60 for Hispanics.
Copies of the 2002 America’s Children report are available from the Health Resources and Services Administration Information Center while supplies last; call (888) Ask-HRSA or email email@example.com. The complete report can also be accessed online at http://childstats.gov.