New "Child Indicators" Report Offers Data To Track Children's Well-Being

July 03, 1997

The Federal Agency Forum on Child and Family Statistics released today, in Washington, D.C., a new report that offers a composite picture of the well-being of the nation's children.

America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, presents 25 key indicators on critical aspects of children's lives, including their behavior and social environment, economic security, education, and health.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of eight agencies contributing to the new report.

"This highly informative report on our nation's children represents an important new use of statistical information available from many sources in the federal government," says Bennett Bertenthal, a cognitive development psychologist and head of NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

"As researchers, we know that data measuring our children's lives are like individual stars; only by studying the stars, or statistics, in relation to each other, do we begin to see important patterns -- a constellation that is far greater than the sum of its parts," says Bertenthal. "By combining information on numerous topics, this report enables us to gain a better perspective on the whole of our children's lives, and to understand how each facet is related to the others.

"The value of the report will be realized in future years, as we monitor these and other indicators to learn how children's lives are changing with changes in their environments," Bertenthal says.

The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics was founded in 1994 and formally established by Executive Order 13045 to foster coordination and collaboration in the collection and reporting of Federal data on children and families. Statistical agencies within the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Management and Budget.

For copies of the full report, contact the National Maternal and Child Health Bureau Clearinghouse, (703) 356-1964, or see the National Center for Health Statistics home page:

National Science Foundation

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