Missoula Social Measures
Family Resource Centers
Nine Missoula County Public Schools(MCPS) have Family Resource Centers (with two more scheduled to open in 2000). These school based centers and their staff are jointly funded by MCPS and Family BASICS, a project of Women's Opportunity and Resource Development (WORD), a local nonprofit agency. This collaborative effort began in 1993 with one center.
Family Reading to Young Children
Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and correlates with literacy development and, later on, with achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school. Mother's education is consistently related to whether children are read to by a family member.
Percentage of children ages 3 to 5 who were read to every day in the last week by a family member by mother's education, selected years 1993-99
NOTE: Data are available for 1993, 1995, 1996, and 1999. Estimates are based on children ages 3 to 5 who have yet to enter kindergarten.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Household Education Survey.
- In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasing to 57 percent in 1996.
- As a mother's education increases, so does the likelihood that her child is read to every day. In 1999, 70 percent of children whose mothers were college graduates were read aloud to every day. In comparison, daily reading aloud occurred for 53 percent of children whose mothers had some postsecondary education, 44 percent whose mothers had completed high school but had no education beyond that, and 38 percent whose mothers had not completed high school.
- White, non-Hispanic children are more likely to be read aloud to every day than either black, non-Hispanic or Hispanic children. Sixty-one percent of white, non-Hispanic children, 41 percent of black, non-Hispanic children, and 33 percent of Hispanic children were read to every day.
- Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to every day than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line. Thirty-eight percent of children in families in poverty were read to every day in 1999, down from 46 percent in 1996, compared with 58 percent of children in families at or above the poverty line, down from 61 percent in 1996.
- Children living with two parents are more likely to be read aloud to every day than are children who live with one or no parent. Fifty-seven percent of children in two-parent households were read to every day in 1999, compared with 42 percent of children living with one or no parent.
Source: America's Children 2000 http://childstats.gov/Family Structure and Children's Living Arrangements
The number of parents living with a child is generally linked to the amount and quality of human and economic resources available to that child. Children who live in a household with one parent are substantially more likely to have family incomes below the poverty line than are children who live in a household with two parents.
Percentage of children under age 18 by presence of parents in household, 1980-99
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, March Current Population Survey.
- In 1999, 68 percent of American children lived with two parents, down from 77 percent in 1980.
- In 1999, almost a quarter (23 percent) of children lived with only their mothers, 4 percent lived with only their fathers, and 4 percent lived with neither of their parents.
- Since 1996, the percentage of children living with only one parent has not changed significantly.
- Among the factors associated with change in the percentage of children living with just one parent is the percentage of births that were to unmarried mothers.
- White, non-Hispanic children are much more likely than black children and somewhat more likely than Hispanic children to live with two parents. In 1999, 77 percent of white, non-Hispanic children lived with two parents, compared with 35 percent of black children and 63 percent of children of Hispanic origin.
Most childrenspend the majority of their childhood living with two parents; however, significant proportions of children have more diverse living arrangements. Information about the presence of parents and other adults in the family, such as the parent's unmarried partner, grandparents, and other relatives, is important for understanding children's social, economic, and developmental well-being.
Figure POP5.B Percentage of children under age 18 living in various family arrangements, 1996
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Survey of Income and Program Participation.
- In 1996, there were 71.5 million children under age 18. Seventy-one percent of them lived with two parents, 25 percent lived with one parent, and about 4 percent lived in households without parents.
- Among children living with two parents, 91 percent lived with both biological or adoptive parents and 9 percent lived with a biological or adoptive parent and a stepparent. About four-fifths of children living with a stepparent lived with their mother and a stepfather.
- About 3 percent of children who lived with both biological or adoptive parents had parents who were not married.
- The majority of children living with one parent lived with their single mother. Some of these single parents had cohabiting partners. Sixteen percent of children living with single fathers and 9 percent of children living with single mothers also lived with their parents' partners. Overall, 3.3 million children (5 percent) lived with a parent or parents who were cohabiting.
- Among the 2.6 million children (4 percent) not living with either parent in 1996, half (1.3 million) lived with grandparents, while about 21 percent lived with other relatives, and another 22 percent lived with nonrelatives. Of children in nonrelatives' homes, about half (313,000) lived with foster parents.
- Older children were less likely to live with two parents--66 percent of children ages 15 to 17, compared with 74 percent of children under age 5 and 71 percent of those ages 5 to 14. Among children living with two parents, older children were more likely than younger children to live with a stepparent and less likely to live with cohabiting parents.
Source: America's Children 2000
Children as a Proportion of the Population
Though children represent a smaller percentage of the population today than in 1960, they are nevertheless a stable and substantial portion of the population.
Figure POP2 Children under age 18 and adults ages 65 and older as a percentage of the U.S. population, 1950-99 and projected 2000-20
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates and Projections.
- In 1999, children made up 26 percent of the population, down from a peak of 36 percent at the end of the "baby boom."
- Since the mid-1960s, children have been decreasing as a proportion of the total U.S. population.
- Children are projected to remain a fairly stable percentage of the total population. They are projected to comprise 24 percent of the population in 2020.
- In contrast, senior citizens (adults ages 65 and older) have increased as a percentage of the total population since 1950, from 8 to 13 percent. By 2020, they are projected to make up 17 percent of the population.
- Together, children and senior citizens make up the "dependent population": those persons who, because of their age, are less likely to be employed than others. In 1950, children made up 79 percent of the dependent population; by 1999, they made up 67 percent. This percentage is expected to continue to decrease, to 59 percent in 2020.
Source: America's Children 2000
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