America's Health Rankings, United Health Foundation Logo

Child Mortality, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report
Measure: Child Mortality, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report

Why does this matter?

Premature death among youth, especially from preventable causes, is an enormous loss of potential life. Children and adolescents ages 18 and under represent 22.4% of the United States population. While there has been a consistent decline in mortality rates among children, this remains a major issue. In 2018, there were 19,660 deaths among people ages 1-19.

As the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, motor vehicle accidents account for 20% of the deaths in this age group. The second leading cause of death is firearms, representing 15% of deaths with most being homicides. Cancer is the third leading cause of death, representing 9% of deaths among children.

Most homicides of young children are committed by family members, while older children are more likely to be murdered by acquaintances. Homicides and assault-related injuries among youth and young adults ages 10-24 are estimated to cost more than $18 billion annually due to medical and work loss costs.

Suicide is also a serious concern. It is the second leading cause of death among children ages 10-14, as well as those ages 15-24. Recently there has been an increase in deaths by suicide among children, teenagers and young adults.

Source:
  • CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, 2015-2017



Missed School Days, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report
Measure: Missed School Days, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report

Why does this matter?

Children’s health and education are associated with long-lasting implications throughout life. The relationship is mutual and reinforcing: health impacts educational performance and educational performance impacts health. School attendance is a key component of academic performance and missed school days have consistently been associated with worse academic outcomes. Students who miss more days of school score lower on standardized tests in both reading and math, and are more likely to drop out before graduation. Additionally, students who miss more school are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol and illegal drug use. More than 7 million students missed 15 or more school days in 2015-2016. 

Source:
  • ,



Teen Births, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report
Measure: Teen Births, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report

Why does this matter?

Substantial health, social and economic costs are associated with teen pregnancy and childrearing. Teen mothers are significantly more likely to drop out of high school and face unemployment. The children of teen mothers have a higher risk of dropping out of school, becoming hospitalized, dying during infancy or childhood and becoming a teen mother themselves. 

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen pregnancy and childbirth costs the United States taxpayers about $9.4 billion annually.

Source:
  • CDC WONDER, Natality Public Use Files, 2017



Teen Suicide, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report
Measure: Teen Suicide, 2019 Health Of Women And Children Report

Why does this matter?

Suicide is a serious public health problem among all age groups. Among youth, it exacts an enormous toll due to the significant years of potential life lost. In 2018, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among 10- to 24 year-olds. 

Youth suicidal ideation, attempt and completion are on the rise. Far more adolescents have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide and survive than those who die by suicide. Results from the 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System show that 18.8% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 8.9% actually attempted suicide. The cost of suicide attempts in the United States in 2019 was estimated to be $70 billion.

Risk factors associated with suicide among adolescents include:

  • Psychiatric disorders such as major depressive, bipolar, substance use and conduct disorders.
  • Psychiatric comorbidity, especially the combination of mood, disruptive and substance abuse disorders.
  • Family history of depression or suicide.
  • Loss of a parent to death or divorce.
  • Physical and/or sexual abuse.
  • Lack of a support network.
  • Feelings of social isolation.
  • Bullying.
Source:
  • CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, 2015-2017

Please tell us a little more about you

We appreciate you taking the time to help America’s Health Rankings better understand our audiences. Your feedback will allow us to optimize our website and provide you with additional resources in the future. Thank you.

Please select one option which best describes your profession or field of expertise

Journalist or media professional
Health Policy Professional
Public health professional (state, local, or community level)
Health care provider or administrator
Member of an advocacy group or trade organization
Academic, student, or researcher
Government administrator, legislator, or staffer
Concerned citizen
Other
Don't show me this again
Please take a quick survey.