82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesKids Count 2008: Single-Mother Families Up, Child Poverty Down

Kids Count 2008: Single-Mother Families Up, Child Poverty Down

June 17, 2009 — As with past years, statistics in the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands' just-released Kids Count 2008 Data Book document a daunting panoply of social ills in the territory, some growing and some improving.
The CFVI released the ninth annual data book Wednesday at its annual meeting at the Buccaneer resort on St. Croix, leavening the stark figures by talking of what it would take to improve the worst statistics by 10 percent. Announcing the CFVI's 2009 scholarship recipients at the same meeting served to emphasize the great number of children doing well in the territory, too.
Kids Count 2008 measures such things as poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile crime, school-dropout rates and other factors that help gauge the social and economic well-being of the community. It provides data up to 2006, with extensive data from 2001 to 2006 and some trend data over the last 10 to 15 years.
"This year's Kids Count data book specifically asks what will it take to improve by 10 percent, and what families would be affected if we were to reach our 10 percent," said Judith Richardson, director of the Kids Count project. "By asking ourselves how we can improve, the data can serve as a valuable tool."
Improving the numbers on a problem that is especially severe can have a corresponding beneficial impact on children, she said, citing single motherhood as an example.
"In 2006, over 40 percent, or 11,607 children, lived in families led by single mothers," Richardson said. "Single parenthood is the single most determinative factor predicting poverty. Children raised without a biological father are two to three times more likely to grow up poor than children in two-parent households. In order to improve this by 10 percent, we need 1,161 fewer children being raised by single moms."
Nationally, 32 percent of children live in families with a single female parent. The territory's rate appears to have gone up from just under 36 percent in 2001 to just under 41 percent in 2006.
Some numbers have improved. Child poverty went down from 35.8 percent in 2005 to 29.5 percent in 2006.
"That is the lowest it has been in the last decade," Richardson said. "The samples may differ, and the year-to-year comparison may not be exact. But it is good news."
On St. Croix, 33 percent of children live in poverty, according to Kids Count, while on St. Thomas and St. John the rate is 26 percent. The national rate is 19 percent.
Income figures have gone up, too. In 2006, the V.I. median family income was $38,914.
"Income was also the highest it has been in 10 years, though it is still well below the U.S. median family income of $58,407," Richardson said.
After a decade of falling rates, teen births rose to 54 per 1,000 girls age 15 to 19 in 2006. That's a seven-percent increase over 2005. The U.S. rate is 42 births per 1,000 girls. Juvenile violent-crime arrests have been going up, from 410 arrests per 100,000 teenagers in 2001 to 499 in 2006. Nearly 14 percent of teens age 16 to 19 have dropped out of high school, about twice the national rate. But in 1997, the rate was 22 percent, so there has been some decline, Richardson said.
The rate of teen deaths by accident, homicide or suicide appears to be getting worse, with 72.2 such deaths per 100,000 youths in 2001, 114.3 in 2005 and 117.2 in 2006. The national rate for 2005 was 66 per 100,000.
Kids Count 2008 is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation with assistance from the University of the Virgin Islands. It is part of a national initiative, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to create a detailed community-by-community picture of the condition of children nationwide. There are now Kids Count projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The foundation produces a summary document every year reporting state-level data and national trends. The Kids Count U.S. Virgin Islands data book has been compiled and published each year by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands since 2001. The booklet will soon be available online at cfvi.net. You can also call the Community Foundation at (340) 774-6031.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
June 17, 2009 -- As with past years, statistics in the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands' just-released Kids Count 2008 Data Book document a daunting panoply of social ills in the territory, some growing and some improving.
The CFVI released the ninth annual data book Wednesday at its annual meeting at the Buccaneer resort on St. Croix, leavening the stark figures by talking of what it would take to improve the worst statistics by 10 percent. Announcing the CFVI's 2009 scholarship recipients at the same meeting served to emphasize the great number of children doing well in the territory, too.
Kids Count 2008 measures such things as poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile crime, school-dropout rates and other factors that help gauge the social and economic well-being of the community. It provides data up to 2006, with extensive data from 2001 to 2006 and some trend data over the last 10 to 15 years.
"This year's Kids Count data book specifically asks what will it take to improve by 10 percent, and what families would be affected if we were to reach our 10 percent," said Judith Richardson, director of the Kids Count project. "By asking ourselves how we can improve, the data can serve as a valuable tool."
Improving the numbers on a problem that is especially severe can have a corresponding beneficial impact on children, she said, citing single motherhood as an example.
"In 2006, over 40 percent, or 11,607 children, lived in families led by single mothers," Richardson said. "Single parenthood is the single most determinative factor predicting poverty. Children raised without a biological father are two to three times more likely to grow up poor than children in two-parent households. In order to improve this by 10 percent, we need 1,161 fewer children being raised by single moms."
Nationally, 32 percent of children live in families with a single female parent. The territory's rate appears to have gone up from just under 36 percent in 2001 to just under 41 percent in 2006.
Some numbers have improved. Child poverty went down from 35.8 percent in 2005 to 29.5 percent in 2006.
"That is the lowest it has been in the last decade," Richardson said. "The samples may differ, and the year-to-year comparison may not be exact. But it is good news."
On St. Croix, 33 percent of children live in poverty, according to Kids Count, while on St. Thomas and St. John the rate is 26 percent. The national rate is 19 percent.
Income figures have gone up, too. In 2006, the V.I. median family income was $38,914.
"Income was also the highest it has been in 10 years, though it is still well below the U.S. median family income of $58,407," Richardson said.
After a decade of falling rates, teen births rose to 54 per 1,000 girls age 15 to 19 in 2006. That's a seven-percent increase over 2005. The U.S. rate is 42 births per 1,000 girls. Juvenile violent-crime arrests have been going up, from 410 arrests per 100,000 teenagers in 2001 to 499 in 2006. Nearly 14 percent of teens age 16 to 19 have dropped out of high school, about twice the national rate. But in 1997, the rate was 22 percent, so there has been some decline, Richardson said.
The rate of teen deaths by accident, homicide or suicide appears to be getting worse, with 72.2 such deaths per 100,000 youths in 2001, 114.3 in 2005 and 117.2 in 2006. The national rate for 2005 was 66 per 100,000.
Kids Count 2008 is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation with assistance from the University of the Virgin Islands. It is part of a national initiative, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to create a detailed community-by-community picture of the condition of children nationwide. There are now Kids Count projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The foundation produces a summary document every year reporting state-level data and national trends. The Kids Count U.S. Virgin Islands data book has been compiled and published each year by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands since 2001. The booklet will soon be available online at cfvi.net. You can also call the Community Foundation at (340) 774-6031.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.