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Despite growing up in the worst financial crisis in 80 years, the teenagers of Generation Z—those born after 1995—have broken records in education and health, but the progress is not equal among minority children especially Latinos, according to the 2016 Kids Count Data Book.
Thanks to state, federal, and local public health programs teen births dropped 40 percent, abuse of drugs and alcohol among teenagers fell 38%, and the “percent of teens not graduating on time decreased by 28 percent.”
“With more young people making smarter decisions, we must fulfill our part of the bargain, by providing them with the educational and economic opportunity that youth deserve,” said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. “We urge candidates in state and national campaigns to describe in depth their proposals to help these determined young people realize their full potential.”
But despite these gains, the report found that Latino children and other minorities continue to struggle and inequities remain “stubbornly persistent.”
Latino children are far more likely to be uninsured than African American, Asian and White non-Hispanic children, over 40% of Latino children live in single parent families which typically means they have access to fewer “economic or emotional resources than children in two-parent families.”
Other key findings are:
- At 38 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year-old
girls, the teen birth rate for Latinas was
the highest across major racial and ethnic
groups followed closely by the rate for
African Americans (35 per 1,000). Although
it remained high, the 2014 teen birth rate was
the lowest rate on record for both groups
- African-American (32 percent),
American Indian (31 percent) and Latino
(24 percent) children were much more
likely to live in high-poverty areas than them
multiracial (12 percent), Asian and Pacific
Islander (8 percent) and non-Hispanic
White (5 percent) counterparts.
According to the report in 12 states, Latino children and other children of color are the majority of the child population and demographers forecast that by the end of the decade children of color will be the majority in the country. The report recommends that government and organizations work together to “ensure that all children have the chance to be successful.”