Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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The 2013 Sacramento County Children’s Report Card is the seventh edition of the Report Card. It presents data on 40 different indicators of childhood health and well being in the areas of demographics, education, family economics, health, safety, and social and emotional well being. The Sacramento County Children’s Coalition has designed the Report Card to serve as a foundation for:

  • Guiding policy development;
  • Setting goals for improvement;
  • Tracking changing conditions;
  • Supporting allocation of resources; and
  • Promoting community responsibility for positive change.

This executive summary relays key findings from each of the six result areas. The full value of the Report Card – meaning the presentation and explanation of 40 indicators of childhood health and well being – can be accessed by visiting each section of this site.


The diversity of Sacramento County’s population continues to grow across a range of factors, including age, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability status, and family type. As such, policy and program planning must be made with particular consideration given to target audiences and the variety of cultural factors that play into the success of an initiative. Additionally, policy and program decisions must be made with consideration given not just to the current environment, but what the environment will be in the years, and even generations, to come.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • Residents under the age of 25 are becoming increasingly diverse. Three of every five children are from a racial/ethnic minority population.
  • There are more than 50 different languages spoken in the homes of Sacramento County students.
  • The population 0-17 will grow to nearly half a million by 2060.
  • Children are much more likely to be living in poverty than the population as a whole.


Education represents one of the best opportunities to influence positive outcomes throughout the life span. Most educational achievement indicators are closely correlated with employment and economic advancement. Education indicators for children in Sacramento County are mixed, with certain segments of Sacramento County’s student population excelling, while others are struggling.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • The graduation rate in Sacramento County has increased over the last three years, but nearly one-quarter of students do not graduate with their peers.
  • The number of drop outs has decreased over that same time period.
  • The number of students proficient in both English Language Arts and Mathematics has increased steadily since 2008, however, 4 in 10 students are still not perfoming at grade level.
  • While proficiency has increased the gap between African American and Hispanic students compared to their white peers remains the same.
  • There have been improvements in access to pre-school and enrollment in post-secondary education over the past decade.


Family economics can have significant influence on the life outcomes of children. A stable source of income allows families to lead healthy, secure, self-sufficient lives. Unfortunately, the economic collapse has impacted all sectors of our community through primary impacts on the family and secondary impacts on purchasing power and tax base of the local economy.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • Although the cost of living has increased, average wages have decreased due to unemployment, reduced hours, and reduced wages.
  • In 2012, more than 400,000 residents, or 28% of the County’s population, received some form of aid or support from the County’s Department of Human Assistance.
  • A single-parent family with two young children needs to earn more than $54,000 ($25.00/hour) in order to meet basic budget needs. The median family income for single-parent families in Sacramento County was $42,000 for single-father families, and $30,000 for single-mother families.
  • Of all Sacramento County families with children under 18, nearly one in five (17%) live in poverty. For single-parent families, one in three (30%) live in poverty.


Because children are often more vulnerable than the adults around them, children’s health status is an indicator of the overall well-being of a community. Of course, health status also has personal and lasting impacts. A child’s health status affects his or her ability to participate and learn and can have long term consequences on growth and development.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • Reported STD rates for young adults in Sacramento County are up to 2.5 times higher than reported Statewide.
  • Infant mortality rates for African Americans are more than double the rate for other ethnicities.
  • Most children in Sacramento County are covered for health insurance, but about 15% are not covered for dental care.
  • One of every three children in Sacramento County is covered by publicly funded health insurance.


Safety – both real and perceived – is critical to fostering a vibrant community and creating an environment in which children can thrive. Issues of crime, violence, illness, abuse and neglect all feed the perception of safety. The ability of the Sacramento County community to provide a safe environment for its children is improving in some areas – such as juvenile crime – but remains stressed in other areas – such as demand for child protective services intervention. Even within the same issue, perceptions can vary considerably between populations.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • Children under the age of 1 enter the foster care system at more than 3 times the rate that would be expected, according to their population size.
  • The rate of domestic violence related calls to law enforcement is routinely higher in Sacramento County than is reported in statewide averages.
  • Juvenile felony arrests have declined by 36% since 2002.
  • African American juveniles are arrested at nearly 4 times the rate of any other race/ethnicity.
  • In 2011 there were more than 4,800 runaway reports in Sacramento County. Although the rate of runaway reports has decreased overall in Sacramento County, it remains significantly higher than reports for California overall.


As a whole, children in Sacramento County are resilient, despite many challenges to their healthy development. Without continuing support from the community, and without stable, committed relationships from adults, children are not able to reach their full potential, and in fact, experience quite negative outcomes.

Key Findings for Sacramento County:

  • Nearly 90% of youth report moderate to high access to supportive assets in school and community environments.
  • Transition age foster youth experience substantially lower rates of graduation and employment, and substantially higher rates of juvenile justice involvement and homelessness than their peers.
  • Children placed in foster care in Sacramento County are less likely to be placed with kin than is reported in statewide averages.
  • The proportion of children smoking continues to decline, but the proportion of children using alcohol or other drugs has remained unchanged for much of the past decade.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:37