Child Trends was pleased to conduct the first comprehensive review of data on children and youth throughout the National Capital Region at the request of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP). Child Trends' data review, Assessing the Status and Needs of Children and Youth in the National Capital Region, was the basis for VPP's Sept. 6 call for collective action by public and private sector leaders across the region to address the needs of children and youth. (See Capital Kids: Shared Responsibility, Shared Future, for VPP's call to action.
Child Trends gathered, reviewed and, when possible, aggregated data across nine political jurisdictions in the National Capital Region for the first-ever region-wide assessment of the health, safety, economic well-being, and educational achievement of children and youth. The jurisdictions included in the review are the District of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William in Virginia.
Key findings include:
- Child poverty: Washington, DC's child poverty rate of 30.4 percent in 2010 is well above the national average. While suburban rates are much lower, several suburbs have seen sharp increases in their child poverty rates in recent years - doubling in Montgomery County and quadrupling in Alexandria.
- Immigration: 41 percent of children in the National Capital Region had at least one immigrant parent in 2010 -- in Montgomery and Fairfax Counties, 50 percent of children had at least one foreign-born parent.
- Opportunity Divide: There is a wide opportunity divide between children in affluent families and those who - for reasons of income, language, or education - are less advantaged.
This innovative look at the needs of children and youth across the region is a valuable new tool for public and private sector leaders seeking region-wide solutions and a model for other metropolitan areas across the nation.