• Number of Children


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    • Abstract: Knowing the number of children at present and the number of children there are likely to ... Society makes substantial investments in children in all areas of life including health and ...

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Number of Children
Headline
In 2006, there were 73.7 million children under age 18 in the United States. This
represents an increase in the child population of more than 50 percent since 1950.
(See Figure 1)
Importance
Knowing the number of children at present and the number of children there are likely to
be in the future is critical to effective social planning. The number of children determines
the demand for schools, health care, and other services for children and their families.1
Society makes substantial investments in children in all areas of life including health and
safety, education and training, recreation, and social development. By tracking and
predicting the total number of children, more planning can go into these investments,
possibly making them more effective.
Trends
The number of children under age 18 in the United States has grown from 47.3 million in
1950 to 73.7 million in 2006. By the year 2030, that number is expected to grow to 85.7
million. Growth has not been steady, however. During the 1950s, the heart of the baby
boom, the number of children increased by over a third to 64.5 million in 1960. After
slower growth in the 1960s, the number of children actually fell, and by 1990, at 64.2
million, had not quite caught up to 1960 levels. Growth resumed in the 1990s to the
current level of 73.7 million. (See Figure 1)
Since the early 1960s, however, children have formed an ever-smaller proportion of our
total national population, declining from 36 percent in 1960 to 26 percent in 1990 and
remaining stable through 2000. Since 2001, children have made up 25 percent of the total
population. This percentage is expected to decline slightly to 24 percent by 2030. (See
Table 1)
State and Local Estimates
2006 estimates of the child population at the state level from the U.S. Census Bureau are
available at http://www.census.gov/popest/states/asrh/
2006 estimates of the child population at the county level from the U.S. Census Bureau
are available at http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/asrh/
2005 state estimates of the child population by age group are available at
http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/sld/compare_results.jsp?i=690
2005 state estimates of the child population by gender are available at
http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/sld/compare_results.jsp?i=700
2005 state estimates of the child population by race are available at
http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/sld/compare_results.jsp?i=710
Counts from the 2000 Census of the child population for states, counties, congressional
districts, cities, metropolitan areas, and towns are available for the entire U.S. at the
Annie E. Casey’s KIDS COUNT site at http://www.aecf.org/cgi-
bin/aeccensus.cgi?action=profile
State projections for 2000-2030 (based on the 2000 census) are available at
http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/projectionsagesex.html
International Estimates
Estimates of the child and youth populations are available for many countries at the
UNICEF web site at http://www.unicef.org/statis/country.htm
National Goals
None
Data Source
Data for 2006 age breaks: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population
Division, U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and
Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2006-ALLDATA.txt
All other 2006 data: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Annual Estimates of the
Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July
1, 2005. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2006/NC-
EST2006-02.xls
Data for 2005 age breaks: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population
Division, U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and
Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2005-ALLDATA.txt
All other 2005 data: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Annual Estimates of the
Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July
1, 2005. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2005/NC-
EST2005-02.xls
Data for 2004: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population Division, U.S.
Census Bureau. State Single Year of Age and Sex Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to
July 1, 2004. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/states/files/SC-EST2004-
AGESEX_RES.csv.
Data for 2002-2003: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population Division,
U.S. Census Bureau. (June 14, 2004). Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex and
Selected Age Groups for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 (NC-EST2003-
02). Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2003-as.html.
Population projections for 2030: U.S. Census Bureau. "State Interim Population
Projections by Age and Sex: 2004-2030." Population Projections, File 3, Annual
projections by single year of age. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/projectionsagesex.html.
Other data from: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s
Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2003. Federal Interagency Forum on
Child and Family Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Tables
POP1 and POP2. www.childstats.gov (See Population and Family Characteristics)
Raw Data Source
U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population Estimates and Projections
http://www.census.gov/
Approximate Date of Next Update
2008
1
Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National
Indicators of Well-Being, 2003. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family
Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online at:
http://www.childstats.gov/pubs.asp#ac2003.
Figure 1
Number of Children Under Age 18 in the U.S. (in Millions),
Selected Years 1950-2030
100
90 85.7
73.7
80 73.5
72.3
69.8
70
Number (in millions)
64.5 63.7 64.2
60
50 47.3
40
30
20
10
0
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2006 2030
Projection
Sources: Data for 2002-2003: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. (June 14, 2004). Table 2: Annual Estimates of the Population by
Sex and Selected Age Groups for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 (NC-EST2003-02). Available at: http://eire.census.gov/popest/data/national/tables/NC-EST2003-02.pdf.
Data for 2004: Child Trends calculations using data from Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau. State Single Year of Age and Sex Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004.
Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/states/files/SC-EST2004-AGESEX_RES.csv. Data for 2005: Child Trends calculations using data from the Population Division, U.S. Census
Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2005-
ALLDATA.txt. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2005/NC-EST2005-02.xls Datat for 2006: Child Trends calculations using data from the Population
Division, U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2006-ALLDATA.txt. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2006/NC-EST2006-02.xls Population
projections for 2030: U.S. Census Bureau. "State Interim Population Projections by Age and Sex: 2004-2030." Population Projections, Table 5: Interim Projections: Population Under Age
18 and 65 and Older: 2000, 2010, and 2030 and File 3. Other data from: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children:
Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2003.Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office. Tables POP1 and POP2. www.childstats.gov (See Population and Family Characteristics)
Table 1
Number of Children Under Age 18 in the United States and Children as a Percentage of the Population, Selected Years, 1950-2030
(millions) Projections1
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2010 2020 2030
All Children 47.3 64.5 69.8 63.7 64.2 69.5 70.9 71.4 71.9 72.3 72.6 72.8 73.0 73.3 73.5 73.7 74.4 80.3 85.7
Age Group
Ages 0-5 19.1 24.3 20.9 19.6 22.5 23.7 23.3 23.2 23.1 23.1 23.3 23.4 23.6 23.9 24.2 24.5 25.6 27.5 29.1
Ages 6-11 15.3 21.8 24.6 20.8 21.6 23.0 24.0 24.5 24.8 25.0 24.8 24.6 24.3 24.0 23.8 23.7 24.4 26.9 28.4
Ages 12-17 12.9 18.4 24.3 23.3 20.1 22.7 23.5 23.8 24.0 24.2 24.5 24.9 25.1 25.4 25.5 25.5 24.4 26.0 28.2
Children as a Percentage
of the Total Population 31 36 34 28 26 26 26 26 26 26 25 25 25 25 25 25 24 24 24
"-" Indicates data not available
1
Population projection estimates are based on the Census 2000 counts.
Sources: Data for 2002 age breaks from: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics merica’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2004 . Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Governme
A
Printing Office. Tables POP1 and POP2. All other data for 2002-2003: Child Trends’ calculations using data from the Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. (June 14, 2004). Table 2: Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex and Selected Age Groups for the United
States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 (NC-EST2003-02). Available at: http://eire.census.gov/popest/data/national/tables/NC-EST2003-02.pdf. Data for 2004: Child Trends calculations using data from Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau. State Single Year of Age
and Sex Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/states/files/SC-EST2004-AGESEX_RES.csv.
Data for 2005 age breaks: Child Trends calculations using data from the Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005. Available
at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2005-ALLDATA.txt. All other 2005 Data: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Annual Estimates of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for
United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2005/NC-EST2005-02.xls Data for 2006 age breaks: Child Trends calculations using data from the Population
Division, U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2006-ALLDATA.txt.
All other 2006 Data: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Annual Estimates of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2006/NC-EST2006-02.xls Population projections for 2030: U.S. Census Bureau. "State Interim Population Projections by Age and
Sex: 2004-2030." Population Projections, Table 5: Interim Projections: Population Under Age 18 and 65 and Older: 2000, 2010, and 2030 and File 3. Annual projections by single year of age. Available at:
http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/projectionsagesex.html. All other data from: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2003.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Tables POP1 and POP2. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key
National Indicators of Well-Being, 2003. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Tables POP1 and POP2.


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