COLUMBIA - The Annie E. Casey Foundation's newly released report Children At Risk: State Trends 1990-2000, portrays a decade of no overall advancement by South Carolina children. Although the nation enjoyed economic expansion during the 1990's, South Carolina remained at 15% on the Family Risk Index in both 1990 and 2000.
The Family Risk Index is a composite of four risk factors: poverty, single parent family, head of household who is a drop-out, and no parent with a full-time year-round job. Children living in families with three or more these factors are considered high risk.
Based on Census 2000 data, South Carolina ranked 38th - 44th in the nation on the Family Risk Index. Six other states, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee, were tied with South Carolina.
The report shows a mixed description of children in South Carolina with no net progress in children's circumstances. While nine of the eleven indicators improved nationally, in South Carolina only five improved, five became worse, and one remained the same.
Baron Holmes, Director of Kids Count South Carolina said, "During the 1990's, the nation enjoyed the longest economic expansion of the half-century since World War II. Times were good in South Carolina: 331,800 jobs (21.5% increase) were created and per capita income increased in non-inflationary dollars by 16.2%."
Holmes added, "So with these positive numbers, one would expect that the condition of children would have improved dramatically. Finishing a prosperous decade with many thousands of additional children at risk does not inspire confidence for the future. Thus, the concerns of South Carolina Kids Count mirror those of the newly created Palmetto Institute."
The Palmetto Institute was formed by eleven prominent South Carolinians to investigate why our state's economic progress during the 1990's did not keep up with the advancement of neighboring states, especially North Carolina and Georgia.
However, on the key economic indicators, children living in poverty and children living in families with no parent working full-time year round, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia were similar in achieving no child progress during the 1990's. South Carolina and Georgia both improved slightly during the 1990's by 1% on each measure while North Carolina worsened by 2% and 5% respectively. On the related 2000 Family Risk Index, Georgia was tied for 35th - 37th (with California and Oregon), while North Carolina and South Carolina were tied for 38th - 44th.
Holmes concluded, "Therefore, Children-At-Risk provides the Palmetto Institute with some additional data puzzles. Since economic competitiveness is a long-term development challenge, the Palmetto Institute may want to add Kids Count data to their wall-charts, since children are a major determinant of our economic future."
Children-At-Risk, a report produced by the Casey Foundation, draws upon the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey for data comparable to the 1990 census long form to profile changes during the 1990's.
South Carolina data:
|Children living in poverty||21%||20%||-5%|
|Children living in families with no parent having full-time, year-round work||28%||27%||-4%|
|Children living in household headed by a high school dropout||29%||20%||-31%|
|Children living in household without a telephone||13%||5%||-62%|
|Children living in household without a vehicle||10%||8%||-20%|
|Children living in single parent families||28%||34%||+21%|
|Children living in low income working families||25%||26%||+4%|
|Children 5-17 having difficulty speaking English||1%||2%||+100%|
|Teens 16-19 who are high school dropouts||13%||14%||+8%|
|Teens 16-19 not in school or working||10%||12%||+20%|
|FAMILY RISK INDEX||15%||15%||0%|
*A minus indicates an improving situation, and a plus indicates a worsening situation
|Increased # of Children||# in 2000|
|Children living in poverty||11,000||199,000|
|Children living in single parent families||87,000||341,000|
|Children living in families with no parent having full-time, year-round work||27,000||258,000|
|Children living in low-income working families||29,000||226,000|
|Children 5-17 who have difficulty speaking English||5,000||13,000|
|Teens 16-19 who are high school droupouts||7,000||32,000|
|Teens 16-19 not attending school or working||7,000||28,000|
|Children living in high-risk families||14,000||139,000|
Percent of Children Living in High Risk Families
© Copyright 2002-2012 South Carolina Budget and Control Board, Office of Research and Statistics