KIDS COUNT Publications | Agenda for Children

2024 Race for Results

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its latest Race for Results® report a decade after its inaugural publication, revealing progress in some areas but persistent disparities for children of color in the United States.

The report utilizes Casey’s Race for Results index based on 12 indicators of child and youth well-being, showing that improvements have been made in at least six out of 11 comparable indicators across racial and ethnic groups over the past decade. Despite this progress, the nation falls short in adequately preparing children to achieve crucial milestones, with no racial or ethnic group coming close to the maximum score of 1,000 on the index.

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National 2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The 34th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how the country’s lack of affordable and accessible child care negatively affects children, families and U.S. businesses. The Data Book finds that in 2020—21, 8% of Louisiana children birth to age five lived in families in which someone quit, changed, or refused a job because of problems with child care.

This year’s publication continues to present national and state data across four domains — economic well-being, education, health and family and community — and ranks states in overall child well-being. This year’s data show concerning increases in Louisiana’s rate of low birthweight babies, as well as a 44% increase in the child and teen death rate between 2019 and 2021. In positive news, Louisiana was one of just three states where fourth grade reading proficiency improved between 2019 and 2022.

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Louisiana’s Profile

Perfil de Luisiana (en español) 

2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book on Louisiana’s Children

The 2023 KIDS COUNT® Data Book on Louisiana’s Children is a 64-parish report on child well-being in Louisiana that features data on 39 different measures of child well-being, including demographics, economic well-being, health, education, and family, community and safety.

Each parish profile includes data highlights so that readers can easily see where their community has room to grow, as well as celebrate areas where they are doing particularly well or have improved. Parish profiles also allow readers to compare their parish’s data to statewide data and to identify trends over time.

Download the Data Book & Parish Profiles

2022 Data Book COver Image

2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The 33rd edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children in America are in the midst of a mental health crisis, struggling with anxiety and depression at unprecedented levels.

This year’s publication continues to present national and state data across four domains — economic well-being, family and community, education and health — and ranks states in overall child well-being. The report includes pre-pandemic figures as well as more recent statistics, and shares the latest information of its kind available. Louisiana ranked 49th overall, despite seeing progress on 10 out of the 16 measures tracked in the Data Book. In 2020, 10.1% of children in Louisiana had been diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety. Visit the Casey Foundation’s web site for more information, including recommendations on how to address the country’s youth mental health pandemic. The Louisiana profile is available in both English and Spanish.

2022 Data Book

Early Childhood Education in New Orleans

Understanding the True Cost of Quality and the Promise of New Investments

This brief provides an overview of early care and education in New Orleans, including it’s cost, available public funding and an overview of the proposed millage to expand the City Seats program.

Roadmap to Improve Child Well-Being in Louisiana

Charting a Path to Prosperity for Louisiana

The report examines what it would take to move Louisiana from the bottom of national rankings in child well-being. It builds upon the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 30-year KIDS COUNT effort to measure the well-being of children in every state, from birth through young adulthood.

Every year, KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks states on 16 different indicators of child well-being. Agenda for Children used that data to show what it would take for Louisiana to improve by one ranking, by five rankings, and what it would take to tie with the best-ranked state(s). For each measure, the Roadmap provides several evidence-based policy recommendations that state and local governments can use to fast-track Louisiana’s progress on key measures of child well-being.

Paid Leave Policy Brief

Paid Leave is the Foundation of a Stronger Louisiana

Our latest policy brief provides a detailed analysis of how paid sick days and paid leave policies would benefit Louisiana’s workers, families, children, and employers. As Louisiana works to recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, statewide paid leave policies could form the foundation upon which our state builds a more equitable, resilient and thriving economy.

The brief also provides recommendations on how legislators, local governments, businesses and voters can work to make paid leave and paid sick days a reality for every worker in Louisiana.

Kids, Families and COVID-19

Pandemic Points and the Urgent Need to Respond

This KIDS COUNT policy report (December 2020) examines how households with children are faring during the pandemic. Its findings are primarily based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It finds that Louisiana adults with children in their households are facing many challenges, including:

  • 18% sometimes or often did not have enough to eat
  • 23% had little or no confidence in paying rent or their mortgage on time
  • 13% had no health insurance
  • 26% felt down, hopeless or depressed
The report also includes a series of recommendations for meeting the needs of children and families now and following the pandemic.
Pandemic Pay for Louisiana

It’s Time for Pandemic Pay for Louisiana’s Child Care Workers

COVID-19 Underlined Reality: Child Care is the Foundation of the Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the reality that child care is the foundation of our economic prosperity. Without stable, quality child care, parents are unable to work outside the home. The child care industry is in a crisis due to widespread temporary closures and lower enrollment as a result of the pandemic, and maintaining a stable workforce has become a major challenge for child care centers. Providing child care workers with a temporary wage supplement of $5 per hour would help centers maintain staffing, which in turn, would help more parents return to the workforce, putting Louisiana on a strong path to recovery.

Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods

20% of Louisiana Children Live in High-Poverty Neighborhoods

KIDS COUNT’s latest data snapshot, Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods, examines where concentrated poverty has worsened across the country despite a long period of national economic expansion. The report, which analyzes the latest U.S. Census data available, finds that between 2008–2012 and 2013–2017, Louisiana was one of 10 states that saw increases in the percentage of children living in concentrated poverty. By contrast, 29 states and the District of Columbia saw decreases in the share of children in concentrated poverty, and 11 states experienced no change.

Growing up in a community of concentrated poverty — that is, a neighborhood where 30 percent or more of the population is living in poverty — is one of the greatest risks to child development. Access the data snapshot from the Casey Foundation’s website.

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Louisiana Lost Nearly 100,000 Children Since 1990

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States, ranking states on overall child well-being and in the domains of economic well-being, education, health and family and community. This edition also looks at how the U.S. child population has changed since the publication of the first Data Book in 1990.

The nation’s population of children has grown by 9.5 million since 1990, while Louisiana has seen its child population shrink by 100,000. Positive trends in children’s health, education and economic security were noted while the states’ overall rank remains near bottom at 49th.

Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s website to see Louisiana’s data for all 16 measures.

Keeping Kids in Families

Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement

In this data snapshot, the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines how placements for young people in foster care have changed from 2007 to 2017. Using data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Casey finds that child welfare systems are doing a better job of placing kids in families. At the same time, racial disparities persist for kids of all ages and progress eludes teens in care.

To push for further progress, the four-page snapshot tells how states can leverage the federal Family First Prevention Services Act to prioritize family placement and high-quality, family-centered settings to support even better outcomes — and a brighter future — for kids in care.

Key Louisiana findings from “Keeping Kids in Families” include:

  • The proportion of children in foster care who are in a family setting in Louisiana rose by seven percentage points, from 83 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2017.
  • For teenagers, progress in family placements has been elusive. In Louisiana, 40 percent of young people in the child welfare system who are 13 and older lived in group placements in 2017 ― the same proportion as 10 years ago.
  • Despite improvements for children from every racial and ethnic category, African-American children remain more likely to be placed in a non-family setting. In 2017, 84 percent of African-American children in foster care in Louisiana were placed in a family setting, compared to 93 percent of Non-Hispanic white children.

2017 KIDS COUNT Race for Results

Children of Color in Louisiana Face More Challenges Than Children in Other States

Louisiana’s future prosperity and ability to compete with other states depends on ensuring opportunities for our children and young adults today. Yet, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children report reveals that, for far too many children of color, living in Louisiana means facing more challenges than children in other states, from being born at low birthweight to living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Race for Results measures children’s progress on the national and state levels on key education, health and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups. The report’s index uses a composite score of these milestones on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) to make comparisons. This allows readers to not only compare outcomes for children of various races and ethnicities within Louisiana, but also see how Louisiana compares to other states and the nation.

You can make Louisiana a state in which all children can thrive!
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