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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 19% in 2016-20, on par with the state rate and and above the nation. However, child poverty was up and concentrated in the City of Rochester, reaching 48% in 2016-20. Child poverty was especially high among African American and Hispanic children in our region, 46% and 36%, compared to 13% of white children. This disparity was even more apparent in the City of Rochester, where 53% of African American and 50% of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2016-20.
Over a third (39%) of families in the region were headed by single parents in 2016-20, similar to the state level but above the national level. This rate was higher in the City of Rochester at 72% and among some racial/ethnic groups. Of African American families in 2016-20, 80% were headed by a single parent, compared to 68% of Hispanic, 29% of Asian, and 62% of white families.
The rate of teen pregnancy dropped over the decade to 1.3% in 2019, similar to the state rate of 1.5%.
About 78% percent of mothers in the region accessed early prenatal care in 2018, above the state rate, but rates were somewhat lower in Monroe County among African American (69%) and Hispanic mothers (71%). A little over 8% of babies born in the region in 2018 had low birth weights, similar to the state. The rate of low birth weights was higher among African American babies in Monroe County at 15% in 2018.
Infant mortality rates in the region declined to 6.9 per 1,000 live births in 2017-19, above the state rate of 4.4. Rochester's rate was the highest at 13 in 2017-19. The infant mortality rates for African American and Hispanic babies in Monroe County were higher than the overall Monroe County rate, 15 and 9 vs. 7.0 in 2016-18.
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 76% from 2000 to 2018. 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 2020, rates of child abuse increased 40% since 2000. Foster care admissions declined 47% since 2000 to 1.8 per 1,000 youth in 2020.
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