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.
Rates of children in poverty and single parent families have both increased since 2000 in Ulster County. The share of families headed by single parents is the highest in the region and above the state rate, though slightly below the nation's rate.
Rates of child abuse and neglect have sharply increased in Ulster County. Rates of foster care admissions have decrease since 2000 but remains the highest in the region.
Rates of teen pregnancy, live births to teen mothers, and bullying incidents have declined over the last decade, while juvenile delinquency intakes have fluctuated.
Poverty rates in Ulster County have remained steady, and are below state and national rates.
In 2011-15, 14% of children in Ulster were living in poverty, equal to the 2000 rate. Ulster’s rate was below the nation and state (both 22%) and region (17%). Ulster fell in between neighboring Orange with the highest child poverty rate in the region (20%) and Dutchess with the lowest (1%).
Poverty was highest among Hispanic (22%) children in Ulster County in 2011-15 for the region, while white children (12%) were the least likely to live in poverty, consistent with state and national trends.
Ulster continues to have the highest rate of single-parent families in the region.
The proportion of single-parent families in Ulster increased 4 percentage points from 2000, similar to state and national trends. In 2011-15, 33% of families in Ulster were headed by single parents, slightly above the 32% in the state and 28% in the region, yet below the 35% for the nation.
In 2011-15, 54% of African American families in Ulster County were headed by single parents, similar to 63% in the state and 64% in the nation. By contrast, 34% of Hispanic and 31% of white families were headed by single parents. Ulster had the highest proportion of white families headed by single parents compared to other counties in the region.
Rates of child abuse and neglect in Ulster have increased the fastest in the region.
In 2015, there were 14 abused or neglected children for every 1,000 children in Ulster County, higher than the rates in the region and state (11 and 16, respectively). Reported child abuse in Ulster increased 13% from 2000 compared to a 18% increase in the state rate. Ulster and Dutchess consistently had higher rates of child abuse in the region than Orange.
In 2015, Ulster had the highest rate of foster care admissions in the region.
In 2015, 2.2 children per 1,000 in Ulster were admitted to foster care, down from 2.9 in 2000 and higher than Orange (1.7), Dutchess (1.5), and the state (1.6).
Teen pregnancy rates have declined in Ulster, and were slightly lower than the state rates.
In 2014, the percentage of teen pregnancies in Ulster was 2.1%, slightly lower than the state rate (2.4%). This rate has fluctuated somewhat since 2000, and in 2014 was down 58% from the 2000 level. Teen pregnancy in 2014 was highest in Orange (2.8%), while Dutchess had the lowest rate in the region (1.7%).
The rate of live births to teen mothers has fallen in Ulster since 2000, similar to the region. state, and nation.
The rate of live births to teen mothers in Ulster declined 54% since 2000, similar to statewide and regional trends. In 2014, there were 11 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in Ulster, lower than the region (12), state (14) and nation (24).
The rate of juvenile delinquency in Ulster has fluctuated over the last decade, and was highest in the region and state.
In 2015, there were 57 juvenile delinquency intakes in Ulster for every 10,000 juveniles, down 47% from the high of 106 in 2002. Ulster’s rates have fluctuated above and below state rates throughout the decade. Ulster had the highest rate of juvenile delinquency intakes in the region in 2015, followed by Orange (29) and Dutchess (16).
Ulster had the highest rate of reported bullying incidents in the region in 2015.
In most years since 2004, Ulster had a higher rate of bullying incidents per 1,000 students than neighboring counties, the region, and the state. In 2015, the rate was 19 in Ulster, compared to 5.8 in Dutchess and 8.1 in Orange.