Young girl holding her sibling on her lap.

2023 State of America’s Children® Report

A note about using the 2023 State of America’s Children® Report

Children’s Defense Fund is on a mission to ensure every child has what they need to thrive. We begin by examining the economic conditions of children and their families, and the investments in the institutions and services upon which children rely for their well-being. This year’s State of America’s Children report aims to do just that.

Using the most recent data from the most reliable sources, Children’s Defense Fund presents data in this report that comes directly from public sources. Therefore, anyone can replicate our approach and findings.

This report outlines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s children. Some of the information in this report may be alarming and disheartening. Still, we cannot ignore the reality of the pandemic’s negative impact on young people, especially Black and Brown youth. While some of this information can be challenging to digest, we make room to acknowledge and celebrate the encouraging trends so that they can continue.

The 2023 State of America’s Children report summarizes the status of America’s children in 11 areas: child population, child poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, child hunger and nutrition, child health, early childhood, education, child welfare, youth justice, and gun violence. We include corresponding state fact sheets to provide an overview of how America’s children are faring to inform conversations and improve policies to ensure all children can thrive.

We ask that you interrogate these findings. Look beneath the aggregate numbers and averages to examine the vast disparities between states and racial groups. Ask yourself, “What can I do to improve this reality for young people? How am I contributing to the success of America’s children?” We ask you to use the 2023 State of America’s Children report to inform your conversations and effectively make a case for policies, programs, and strategies to improve the odds for children in your state and nationwide. We must keep moving forward in the fight for America’s young people.

Explore the Report