A Child is a Child: A Snapshot of Children's Health in California

A Child is a Child: A Snapshot of Children’s Health in California

As our nation and state’s child population continues to grow increasingly diverse, we must activate efforts and implement strategies that address the immediate and long term health and wellbeing of all children, regardless of background. Specifically, we must acknowledge the health inequities that continue to persist in the lives of marginalized children in California and in the rest of the nation. 

To provide a snapshot of the health needs of our children, The Children’s Partnership developed a series of fact sheets as part of its “A Child is a Child” campaign. This campaign unites a strong and diverse coalition of individuals and organizations to fight for the right of every child. Across issue areas, our shared resources, experiences and perspectives will help ensure a healthy and bright future for all children.

The fact sheet series will discuss factors that contribute to disparate health outcomes, such as food insecurity, poverty-stricken households, childhood trauma, along with many other systemic inequities that persist in the lives of marginalized children.

This research lays the foundation for a collective equity agenda to transform current programs and policies that ensure all children, no matter their background, have the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential and lead healthy lives.

Black Children’s Health Snapshot: February 2022

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We honor and celebrate Black History Month 2022 by highlighting the health of the nearly 700,000 Black children and youth who currently live in our state. 

We partnered with  the California Black Health Network, California Black Women’s Health Project and Black Women for Wellness on a fact sheet that highlights how systemic racism shapes the lives of Black children, ultimately impacting their success and healthy development. It provides data that highlight inequities across health, mental health, housing, economic security, oral health, food access, school and safety and more; and community-defined protective factors that help address and mitigate these inequities that have only been exacerbated by COVID-19. This Black History Month we celebrate Black children and teens and acknowledge that we must do more to support their health and well-being.

American Indian and Alaska Native Children’s Health Snapshot: November 2021

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We honor and celebrate American Indian Heritage Month 2021 by highlighting the health of the 200,000 American Indian and Alaska Native children and youth who currently live in our state. Over 300,000 early indigenous peoples lived across lands in what is now known as California before colonization. These diverse communities spoke approximately 100 distinct languages, and included, among other tribes: the Chumash, Serrano, Tongva, Cahuilla, Yoruk, Maidu, Mojave, Pomo, Miwok and Modoc. Despite the atrocities of colonization and genocide, Native American communities are resilient and persist in California today. California is home to more Native American people than any other state in the country. Currently, there are close to 200 tribes in California, 110 of which are recognized by the U.S. federal government. 

This month, with the fifth and final fact sheet in our #AChildIsAChild series for 2021, we partnered with the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH) and Two Feathers Native American Family Services to center data that focuses on providing a snapshot of Native American children and youth in California and some of the challenges they face impacting their success and healthy development. Inequities in health are rooted in historical oppression and trauma and systemic racism that continues to impact the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children in our state. The data presented in the fact sheet will inform our collective advocacy to advance child health equity for all children.

Latinx Children’s Health Snapshot: September 2021

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We are proud to celebrate and honor Latinx Heritage Month 2021 by highlighting the health of the 4.6 million Latinx children and youth who live in our state. This month, with the fourth fact sheet in our #AChildIsAChild series, we’re partnering with Latino Coalition for a Healthy California to uplift the inequities that Latinx children in California are facing which impact their success and healthy development.

Latinx children and youth are a large and diverse population of California who navigate multiple intersecting identities, cultures and languages. Latinx youth face disproportionate structural barriers as they navigate through life, whether it’s accessing health coverage and services, having enough healthy food to eat or living in communities with the highest rates of environmental pollution.

Latinx people make up 55 percent of COVID-19 cases (1,767,556), 46 percent of deaths (29,304) and 29 percent of vaccinations despite making up 39 percent of the state’s overall population and those eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

It is our hope that advocates, policy-makers, parents, guardians, teachers and others use this fact sheet to better understand where systemic inequities exist in order to be stronger allies to the Latinx youth that live in our state.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Children, Teen & Young Adult Health Snapshot: June 2021

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We are excited to celebrate and honor Pride Month 2021 by highlighting the health of over 100,000 LGBTQ+ children, teens and young adults that live in our state.

This June, we’ve updated the third fact sheet in our #AChildIsAChild series, uplifting the inequities that surround the lives of LGBTQ+ children, teens and young adults in California and impact their success and healthy development. 10.3 percent of California’s public middle and high school youth population identified as LGBTQ+.

As the fact sheet highlights, California must do more to collect data specific to LGBTQ+ children, teens and young adults to more fully understand the structural disadvantages and inequities that impact their health. This includes data on health care access and coverage, food access and insecurity, poverty measures, and child welfare and juvenile justice systems. With accurate data, programs and policies can be put in place to improve the chances for LGBTQ+ children, teens and young adults to have every opportunity to live healthy, safe, successful lives as youth and as adults.

It is our hope that advocates, policy-makers, parents, guardians, teachers and others use this fact sheet to better understand where systemic inequities exist in order to be stronger allies to the LGBTQ+ children, teens and young adults that live in our state.

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Children’s Health Snapshot: May 2022

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In celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year, we are proud to partner with Asian Resources, Inc. and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Data Policy Lab at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research to release our newly updated fact sheet in our A Child is a Child series spotlighting the health of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) children in California. 

AANHPI children in California come from racially and ethnically diverse populations. Over 1.5 million and 90,000 children and youth identify as Asian American (AA) or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI), respectively, in California, including those who also identify with another race or ethnicity. Nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) AA children and nearly one in two (48 percent) NHPI children live in immigrant families with at least one parent or guardian who was born outside of the United States. 

While we acknowledge that health inequities that exist within the AANHPI community are overlooked at least in part because much of the data on this racially and ethnically diverse population are aggregated, leading to a masking of differences and hidden health disparities between racial and ethnic subgroups, the data presented in this fact sheet highlights some of the barriers that AANHPI children, youth and families face in California that shape their health and well-being on issues including COVID-19, mental health, health coverage, language access, hate and discrimination, economic well-being and more.

The fact sheet also highlights protective factors – conditions or attributes that help mitigate or eliminate risks to health – that can support the lifelong success of AANHPI children and youth, including: maintaining heritage culture and language, bilingualism, cultural identification, strong and supportive family relationships and support from native healers.

Citations

The Children’s Partnership collected the most recent publicly available data on Black children and youth from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the California Health Interview Survey, the National Survey of Children’s Health, the California Healthy Kids Survey, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Health Care Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a few other discrete sources. Click to download full citations: [2022] [2021]

The Children’s Partnership collected Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander children and youth data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey’s 5-year estimates (where available), the 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the 2020 CA Health Interview Survey, the 2019-20 National Survey of Children’s Health, the CA Department of Education, the CA Department of Public Health and a few other discrete sources. All data is from California unless otherwise noted. [2022] [2021]

The Children’s Partnership collected LGBTQ+ children’s data from various sources. Original data and sources are available here.

The Children’s Partnership collected California Latinx children’s data in this fact sheet from multiple sources including the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey one-year population estimates, KidsData.org, the 2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and others. All data in this fact sheet is from California. All numbers in this fact sheet have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Original data and sources are available here.

The Children’s Partnership, Two Feathers and the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health collected the most recent publicly available data on American Indian and Alaska Native children from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the California Health Interview Survey, the National Survey of Children’s Health, the California Healthy Kids Survey, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health and a few other discrete sources. All data is specific to American Indian and Alaska Native children and youth in California unless noted explicitly as national data. Click to download full citations: 2020 and 2021.