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Using local data to identify risks facing children

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released its 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book. Many of the indicators examined at the state level in The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s report are available at the city, borough and community district level for New York City in our Keeping Track Online database.

Our Keeping Track Online is home to new digital Community Risk Ranking tools that use 18 indicators of child well-being across six domains – economic security, housing, health, education, youth, and family and community – to rank each of New York City’s 59 community districts. The data on Keeping Track highlight the areas where more attention must be paid to the barriers facing children and families.

Like CCC’s Community Risk Ranking, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT report is a child well-being index looking at 18 indicators at the state level across four domains – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community – and ranking states accordingly. This data helps contextualize how outcomes in each state compare to the rest of the country.

This year, New York State placed 30th nationwide in The Annie E. Casey Foundation index on a scale of 1 to 50, with 1 having the strongest outcomes for child well-being. Of the four domains, New York State scored the lowest in economic well-being, ranking at 41st in the country. The indicators appearing to drive this are the percent of children living in poverty and percent of children living in households with a high housing cost.

When we look to CCC’s Keeping Track, and more granular community district level data in New York City, we see many communities suffering from especially high rates in both indicators. For example, looking at the child poverty indicator on Keeping Track, we can see that more than 28 percent of NYC children live in poverty. While this is only 6 percentage points higher than New York’s statewide figure of 22 percent, Keeping Track also illustrates how more than half of children live in poverty in some New York City communities. The map gives us a clear sense of where those communities are – primarily in Central Brooklyn, in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan, and in upper Manhattan and throughout the Bronx. Many of those same communities also struggle with a high rent burden.

Similarly, according to The Annie E. Casey Foundation index, a domain in which New York State appears to be thriving is health, ranking 6th in the nation. Health indicators in KIDS COUNT include percent of low birthweight babies, percent of children without health insurance, child and teen deaths per 100,000, and percentage of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs.

A look at New York City’s health indicators in Keeping Track show that the city experiences similarly positive outcomes in the health domain. For example, at 8.3% the percent of babies born at low birthweight in New York City is similar to what is experienced in New York State (7.8%) and nationwide (8.1%). However, the community district level data available on Keeping Track Online show that disparities persist across New York City.

In Borough Park, the lowest-risk NYC community district in CCC’s health domain, the rate of babies born at low birthweight is 5.4 percent. Just a few miles to the north in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the percentage of low birthweight babies is more than double that of Borough Park’s at 11.6 percent.

With 1.8 million children, New York City is home to the largest child population in the country. By illustrating the status of those children in each community through data, CCC provides an important tool for elected officials, service providers, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic partners, and interested New Yorkers to understand the disparities that exist in New York City and the importance of ensuring that children have access to the resources they need and deserve.

To complement that data, Keeping Track also has new asset mapping tools that show where community resources exist across the city to support children and families. Armed with this data, can work collectively to make New York City a better place for every child.

You can access the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book here and learn more about state-level child well-being across the U.S.

Learn more about child well-being in New York City’s communities, boroughs and citywide on CCC’s Keeping Track Online.

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