Risk Factors for Children in U.S. States and Metropolitan Areas: Data from the 2007 American Community Survey

Robert Kominski, U.S. Census Bureau
Diana B. Elliott, U.S. Census Bureau
Molly Clever, University of Maryland

Across the varied literature on child well-being, findings suggest that children may be “at risk” for less desirable life outcomes when certain limiting factors are part of their environment. This paper looks at a collection of 22 possible risk factors to which children can be exposed. Using a model identifying specific factors in four domains (personal, familial, economic and household conditions), “risk” levels are assessed for all children in the United States using data from the most recent cycle of the American Community Survey (ACS), a large scale, nationally representative survey of over two million households per year. This paper examines the intercorrelation of specific risk factors and the socio-demographic variation of risk across, age, gender and racial groupings. The paper also demonstrates the variability of risk both at the state level, and for 360 metropolitan areas in the United States, a unique capability of the ACS data.

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Presented in Session 186: Using the ACS in Applied Demography