FIFTY STATE CHART BOOK
Dimensions of Diversity and the Young Child Population
For planning and policy purposes, state leaders need accurate information about the well-being of their youngest children and the services being provided to them. This information should include data pertaining to the population of children in the states as a whole and to different racial and ethnic groups. While available information can not sufficiently answer all questions state leaders may ask, administrative data sets, national surveys and census data provide a basis for understanding the current well-being of young children across health, social, developmental and economic realms – and for examining disparities that exist by race, ethnicity and income level.
The Fifty State Chart Book provides the available information compiled in a way that enables comparisons, by race, ethnicity and income level, both within and across states, of differences and disparities in well-being, service use and environmental conditions. The nineteen indicators in the Chart Book span various domains of well-being and offer a holistic picture of how children from different racial and ethnic backgrounds are faring.
The Chart Book provides a short description of the indicators and guidance on what each one can be used to show. It also provides information on the characteristics of the young child population. While different states have different racial and ethnic compositions, all states are becoming more diverse, and this diversity is reflected most prominently in the young child population.
Finally, the Chart Book contains a list of 41 additional indicators and provides information to support state leaders who might want to look further into these other measures of young child well-being.
The Chart Book offers initial information to respond to three important questions states need to raise about their early childhood systems:
- How well are different racial/ethnic groups and low-income populations doing in comparison to the population as a whole within our state?
- How does our state compare to other states with regard to how different racial/ethnic groups and low-income populations are faring?
- How effectively are our state programs/policies aimed at young children serving our diverse population?