The Child Trends DataBank has new 2002 Birth Estimates out. Highlights include:
~Teen birth rates have been declining for the past decade; the preliminary 2002 birth rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is the lowest rate ever reported in the United States, at 42.9 births per 1,000.
~Since 1995, the percentage of births to unmarried women in the United States has declined slightly among black women while continuing to climb among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Overall, in 2002, preliminary estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that one-third of all births in the U.S. were to unmarried women.
~The percentage of births to women receiving late or no prenatal care declined substantially during the 1990s, from 6.1 percent in 1990 to 3.6 percent by 2002 (preliminary estimate).
~In preliminary estimates for 2002, 7.8 percent of all newborns were born low birthweight, the highest percentage since the early 1970s.
~Girls performed better than boys at every grade level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) writing assessment in 2002. (which I personally find interesting given my recent blogging about "The New Gender Gap")
~Over the last decade, average reading proficiency scores have increased slightly for eighth graders, are unchanged for fourth graders, and declined modestly among twelfth grade students.
~After decades of decline, the percent of children living with two parents stabilized in the late 1990s, standing at 69 percent in 2002.
~The high school dropout rate for non-Hispanic black youth in the civilian, non-institutionalized population reached a historic low in 2001 at 11 percent, down from 13 percent in 2000 and 21 percent in 1972.