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Reflecting the importance we place on our children, this section includes indicators related to child health, family support, engagement and risk exposure. Measures relating to the educational achievement of children and youth are included in the Education Topic.
The child poverty rate in our region was 21% in 2012-16, below the 22% rate in the state and on par with the nation. However, child poverty was up and concentrated in the City of Rochester, reaching 50% in 2012-16. Child poverty was especially high among African American and Hispanic children in our region, 48% and 41%, compared to 14% of white children. This disparity was even more apparent in the City of Rochester, where 53% of African American and 54% of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2012-16.
Over a third (39%) of families in the region were headed by single parents in 2012-16, similar to the state level but above the national level. This rate was higher in the City of Rochester at 73% and among some racial/ethnic groups. Of African American families in 2012-16, 76% were headed by a single parent, compared to 61% of Hispanic, 21% of Asian, and 33% of white families.
The rate of teen pregnancy dropped over the decade to 2.0% in 2016, below the state rate of 2.7%.
About 80% percent of mothers in the region accessed early prenatal care in 2016, above the state rate, but rates were somewhat lower in Monroe County among African American (66%) and Hispanic mothers (72%). A little over 7% of babies born in the region in 2016 had low birth weights, below the state. The rate of low birth weight was higher among African American babies in Monroe County at 13% in 2016.
Infant mortality rates in the region declined to 6.1 per 1,000 live births in 2014-16, above the state rate of 4.6. Rochester's rate has declined from a high of 14.1 in 2008-10 to 10 per 1,000 births in 2014-16. The infant mortality rates for African American and Hispanic babies in Monroe County were higher than the overall Monroe County rate, 12 and 7 vs. 6.7 in 2014-16.
Progress has been made to reduce child exposure to lead paint, yet not all children are tested as required by law. The number of Monroe County children under 6 newly identified with high blood lead levels has fallen by 78% from 2000 to 2015. But the rate in Monroe County remains consistently higher than the state.
Rates of child abuse have increased since 2000 while admissions to foster care continue to decline. The rate of child abuse fell below 2000 levels for the first time in the decade in 2011, and fell further in 2012 and 2013 to 13 cases per 1,000 children in the region. In 2016, rates of child abuse increased 25% since 2000. Foster care admissions declined 41% since 2000 to 2.1 per 1,000 youth in 2017.
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