The challenges facing our community’s children can diminish their chances for successful adult lives. In this section, we review several indicators that describe family supports and risk exposure of our youngest residents.
Those indicators are: 1) children living in poverty; 2) single-parent families; 3) child abuse and neglect; 4) foster care admissions; 5) teen pregnancy rates; 6) live births to teen mothers; 7) juvenile delinquency intakes; and 8) bullying incidents.
In all cases, comparisons to New York state statistics reflect the entire state excluding New York City.
There are more children living in poverty in Orange County than there were in 2000, similar to state and national trends. There are also more single-parent families, though a lower proportion than the state or nation.
The rate of child abuse and neglect has stayed flat in Orange County, and is the lowest in the region. Foster care admissions have decreased and are on par with the regional rates.
Teen pregnancy rates and live births to teen mothers have both declined, yet continue to be the highest in the region. Juvenile delinquency intakes have declined compared to 2000, while reported bullying incidents have increased since 2004.
Child poverty rates in Orange County have increased and remain the highest in the region.
Over the past decade, child poverty in Orange has increased, following state and national trends. In 2011-15, about 20% of children in Orange were living in poverty, up 5 points since 2000 and below the state and nation’s rate of 22%. Orange consistently had the highest child poverty rates in the region, followed by Ulster (14%) and Dutchess (12%).
Poverty was somewhat higher among African American (30%) and Hispanic (20%) children in Orange in 2011-15, compared to white children (19%). Orange had the highest proportion of white children living in poverty in the region.
Orange County had a somewhat lower rate of single-parent families than neighboring counties, but there was considerable variation by race and ethnicity.
The proportion of single-parent families in Orange increased 3 percentage points from 2000, similar to state and national trends. In 2011-15, over one-quarter of families (27%) in Orange were headed by single parents, on par with Dutchess, but below the state (32%), Ulster (33%) and nation (35%).
In 2011-15, 47% of African American families in Orange were single-parent households, the lowest rate in the region for this group and lower than the state (63%) and the nation (64%). By contrast, 33% of Hispanic families and 22% of white families were headed by single parents.
Rates of child abuse and neglect in Orange County were below regional and state rates.
Orange's rate of child abuse has remained relatively flat since 2000, compared to increases in neighboring counties and the state. In 2015, there were 9 abused children for every 1,000 children in Orange County, below the rate of 16 for the state and the 11 for the region. Orange County consistently had the lowest rate of child abuse and neglect in the region since 2000.
Foster care admissions have decreased in Orange County and were similar to the state and region.
In 2015, 1.7 children per 1,000 in Orange were admitted to foster care, down from 2.8 in 2000. The rate in Orange had steadily dropped throughout the decade before rising in 2011. Orange’s rate was below neighboring Ulster (2.2) and slightly higher than Dutchess (1.5) in 2015.
The teen pregnancy rate in Orange County has declined, yet remained the highest in the region.
In 2014, the percentage of teen pregnancies in Orange was 2.8%, above the region and state (2.3% and 2.4% respectively). Since 2000, the rate in Orange has declined 52%, a bit less than neighboring counties.
Live births to teen mothers have declined in Orange County yet remained the highest in the region.
Orange County consistently had the highest rate of babies born to teen mothers in the region, despite declining 50% since 2000. In 2014, there were 15 live births to teen mothers per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in Orange County, above the state and the nation (14 and 24 per 1,000 teen mothers respectively).
Juvenile delinquency rates have decreased in Orange County and was below the state rate.
In 2015, there were 29 juvenile delinquency intakes in Orange for every 10,000 juveniles, the second lowest in the region and below the state rate of 48. Orange consistently exceeded state and regional rates of juvenile delinquency for the early part of the decade, but the county has had lower rates than the state for the last six years, declining by 80% from 2000.
The rate of reported bullying incidents decreased in Orange County and was below the state rate.
Bullying incidents per 1,000 students have fluctuated since 2004 in Orange, reaching a high of 15.9 in 2006 before dropping to a low of 8.1 in 2015. In 2015, the rate was below Ulster (19) and the region (9.3) but above Dutchess (5.8).