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.
The number of children living in poverty in the region has increased since 2000 (up 4 points). There were similar increases in the nation (up 5 points) and the state (9 points). Single-parent families have become more prevalent in the region as well -- though proportionally, they are less common in the Mid-Hudson region than in the state or nation on whole.
Statewide rates of child abuse and neglect have increased while decreasing for the region. Foster care admissions have decreased, though the rate is now slightly higher in the region than in the state (excluding NYC).
The region has seen a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which is similar to the state rate. Live births to teen mothers have also declined substantially since 2000. Juvenile delinquency intakes and bullying incidents are both down since 2000, and are lower than the state's rate.
There are more children living in poverty than in 2000, similar to state and national trends.
Child poverty rates increased in the region between 2000 and 2011-15, following state and national trends. In 2011-15, about 17% of children in the region were living in poverty, up 4 points since 2000 and lower than the statewide (excluding NYC) and national rate ( both 22%). Dutchess County continued to have the lowest rate of child poverty in the region (12%), followed by Ulster (14%) and Orange (20%).
Poverty was highest among African American (28%) and Hispanic (21%) children in the region in 2011-15. White children (14%) were less likely to be living in poverty, though there was a 4 point increase since 2000.
There are more single–parent families in the region, though still fewer than the state and nation.
The proportion of single–parent families in the region increased 4 percentage points from 2000, similar to state and national trends. In 2011–15, slightly more than one–quarter (28%) of families in the region were headed by single parents, below the rates for the state (excluding NYC) (32%) and nation (35%). Ulster County had the highest proportion of single–parent families (33%), followed by Dutchess and Orange (both 27%).
A little over half (53%) of African American families in the region were headed by single parents, the highest of any racial or ethnic group. This was below the rates for African American families throughout the state (excluding NYC) (63%) and nation (64%). By contrast, 33% of Hispanic families and 24% of white families were headed by single parents.
Rates of child abuse and neglect are decreasing, while statewide trends increased.
Child abuse and neglect has increased steadily between 2000 and 2010 before declining in recent years at both the regional and state level. In 2015, there were 11 abused children for every 1,000 children in the region, down 8% from 2000 and below the statewide rate of 16. Rates were lowest in Orange County (9 per 1,000).
Foster care admissions are decreasing, though the regional rate is slightly higher than the state’s.
The rate of children admitted to foster care declined to 1.7 children per 1,000 in 2015 from 2.0 in 2000. However, beginning in 2010, rates in the region exceeded statewide rates. Admissions were greatest in Ulster County, with 2.2 children per 1,000 admitted to foster care, followed by Dutchess (1.5) and Orange (1.7).
The region has seen a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which is lower than the state.
In 2014, the number of pregnancies among females 15-19 was 2.3%, the lowest in the decade and similar to the state rate. Teen pregnancy was highest in Orange at 2.8% and lowest in Dutchess (1.7%).
Live births to teen mothers have also declined since 2000.
In 2014, there were 12 live births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 in the region, below the state and nation (14 and 24 respectively). This makes for a 54% decrease since 2000. Orange County had the highest rate in the region, with 15 births per 1,000 teen females, followed by Ulster (11) and Dutchess (8).
Juvenile delinquency intakes are down drastically since 2000, and the regional rate is lower than the state’s.
In 2015, the region had a rate of 29 juvenile delinquency intakes for every 10,000 juveniles, a decrease of 72% since 2000 and lower than statewide rate (48). Dutchess County had the lowest rate of juvenile delinquency intakes at 16 per 10,000 juveniles, followed by Orange (29) and Ulster (57).
Reported bullying incidents have declined in the region since 2004, and are lower than statewide rates.
In 2015, there were 9.3 bullying incidents per 1,000 students in the region, compared to 10 statewide. Rates have decreased for all counties in the region expect in Ulster. Ulster had the highest rate in the region at 19 in 2015.