KIDS COUNT FACTBOOK 2005
State Overview and Findings
This tenth Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook modernizes the time frame and the benchmarks used to profile the status of children and youth in our state. From this KIDS COUNT Factbook forward, progress (or lack of progress) will be measured from the middle of the 1990's, quantifying the impact of more recent social and policy changes on the well-being of Oklahoma's children, families and communities. Moving the baseline into the 1990's will help ensure that data collection and reporting methods are consistent between the points in time compared. Moving the reference sections of the Factbook (County Benchmarks, Understanding the Data and Data Tables) online enables KIDS COUNT to provide more detail about Oklahoma children. Advocates and policy makers will benefit from the expanded low birthweight, birth and death indicators.
From this Factbook forward KIDS COUNT will track progress (or the lack of progress) over time for the following indicators: low birthweight infants (less than 5 ½ pounds), very low birthweight infants (less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces), births to young teens (ages 15 -17), births to older teens (ages 18 & 19), births to teens (ages 15-19), confirmations of child abuse & neglect, juvenile violent crime arrests, infant mortality (under age 1), child death (ages 1-14), teen death (ages 15-19) and child/teen death (ages 1-19). While some indicators overlap, the expanded detail provides valuable additional information. Changes in state data collection methods currently prevent comparisons over time for high school drop outs.
There is good news. The 2005 Oklahoma
KIDS COUNT Factbook documents that eight
of twelve indicators improved over the comparable data from the middle of the 1990's.
There is bad news. Three of twelve indicators tracked worsened when compared to data from the middle of
The improved rates obscure the pain felt and the challenges faced by large numbers of young Oklahomans each year. More than one hundred seventy-seven thousand (177,714) Oklahoma children live in poverty. Thirteen thousand (12,904) children are abused or neglected. Resulting child abuse and neglect deaths are at an all time high. Sixty-four hundred (6,424) youth quit high school. Another fourteen hundred (1,459) children do not even make it to high school. More than seven thousand (7,247) teens ages 15 through 19 become mothers. Nearly one thousand (950) children and youth are arrested for murder, rape, aggravated assault or robbery. Four hundred (388) babies do not live to see their first birthday. Another four hundred (421) children and youth do not live to see their twentieth.
Number of Children (2003) 878,243
are 25% of the state population
Number or Poor Children (2002): 177,714
Child Poverty Rate (2002): 20.3%
This information, complete with graphic chart on the status of indicators, is available for download in pdf format.