at a Glance
is embargoed until 12:00 noon on October 15, 2003
Facts at a Glance in Word format
Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook
State and County Focus on the 2000 Census Data
at a Glance
2003 edition of the Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook uses
the latest decennial census data (Census 2000) to provide the
most comprehensive state and county demographic information available
about Oklahoma’s children. It will provide a reference useful
to Oklahoma policy makers and advocates for the next several years.
Oklahoma’s child population has increased substantially
to almost nine hundred thousand (892,360) children. One in four
(25.9%) Oklahomans is under the age of eighteen. Boys slightly
outnumber girls (51.3% to 48.7%).
Composing about two-thirds (67.6%) of Oklahoma’s children,
the largest single race in Oklahoma remains White. The largest
single non-White race of Oklahoma children is American Indian
(11.0%). The fastest growing segment of Oklahoma’s young
population is Hispanic or Latino children which may be of any
One in every five (19.6%) Oklahoma children, more than one hundred
seventy thousand (171,929), lives in poverty. Oklahoma’s
poverty rate for children is higher than that for all children
in the United States (16.6%), placing Oklahoma near the bottom
(41st) of the national rankings.
• Early Childhood
High quality early childhood care and education experiences
are vital to a child’s future. 45.5% of three and four
year old children in Oklahoma attend programs such as nursery
school, preschool or kindergarten, compared to 49.3% nationally.
Oklahoma ranks 28th in the nation for number of children attending
In Oklahoma, more than thirty-five thousand (35,033) children
from the age of five through fifteen have a disability. Currently,
a small percentage (5.8%) of all five through fifteen year old
children in the United States have one or more disabilities.
Oklahoma ranks 38th in the nation with 6.4% of five through
fifteen year old children having at least one disability.
Those teens who spend their young adult years unemployed and
out of school have a hard time finding and keeping a job later
in life. Almost one in ten (9.3%) Oklahoma youth from the ages
of sixteen through nineteen are not engaged in either work or
school, resulting in nearly twenty thousand (19,758) idle youth.
in Their Families
Median Family Income
Family income is lower for Oklahoma families with children ($38,579)
than it is for those without ($42,414). Oklahoma’s median
annual income of $38,579 for families with children is almost
ten thousand dollars below the median income for the United
Half of Oklahoma’s children will spend some part of their
childhood living with a single parent. More than one in four
(119,914, or 27.1%) Oklahoma families with children are headed
by a single parent, placing Oklahoma near the middle (30th)
of all states. More than three-quarters (75.8%) of Oklahoma’s
single parent households with children are headed by females.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
An Oklahoma grandparent is raising their own grandchild in almost
forty thousand (39,279) Oklahoma households. Most (52.9%) of
these households find the grandparent having assumed primary
responsibility for their grandchild for three years of longer.
Children in Their Neighborhoods
are impacted by their surroundings...the families, neighborhoods
and communities in which they live. Ambitions, possibilities
and limitations are often established for young people through
their life experiences in their neighborhoods. Children look
up to and follow the people they know, neighbors providing role
models for their future.
Children Living in Neighborhoods With High Child Poverty Rates
Across the state, more than one of every five children (21.1%)
lives in a neighborhood in which the rate of poverty among the
neighborhood children is very high (29.5%), one and a half times
higher than the state rate (19.6%).
Children Living in Neighborhoods With High Rates of Single Parent
Families With Children Headed By Females
Almost one of every six Oklahoma children (17.5%) lives where
the proportion of single parent families headed by females is
excessive (above 30.9%), one and a half times higher than the
state rate (20.6%).
Children Living in Neighborhoods With High Rates of High School
Nearly one of every four children (22.4%) lives in an Oklahoma
neighborhood where the high school drop out rate is extreme
(above 15.0%), one and one-half times higher than the state
Children Living in Neighborhoods With High Rates of Males Not
in the Labor Force
One of every fifteen Oklahoma children (6.7%) lives where the
proportion of non-working males is noticeably high (above 32.9%),
one and a half times higher than the state rate (21.9%).
Disadvantaged Neighborhood Index – County Rankings
Taken together, the four previous factors provide a comprehensive
picture for each county in Oklahoma of the neighborhoods in
which children live.
2003 Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook takes the individual
county’s rank on each of the four factors and combines
them into a “Disadvantaged Neighborhood Index” in
which the higher the number, the more disadvantaged the neighborhoods
in which larger proportions of their children live. Fifteen
Oklahoma counties (Beaver, Cimarron, Cotton, Dewey, Ellis, Grant,
Harper, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Love, Murray, Noble, Nowata, Roger
Mills, and Washita) have a “Disadvantaged Neighborhood
Index” of “0” demonstrating that none of their
children live in the kinds of neighborhoods discussed above.
The ten worst counties (Caddo, Choctaw, Comanche, McCurtain,
McIntosh, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Ottawa, and Tulsa) generated
“Disadvantaged Neighborhood Indexes” from 222 to
296, with a large proportion of children living in very disadvantaged