Key Findings

State of Babies Yearbook

2023 In Context

Reflecting on the babies who were born five years ago, when the first edition of The Yearbook was released, their entry into the K-12 educational system marks a significant milestone. Most of their lives have been shaped by the Covid pandemic.

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Not surprisingly, the data confirms that many babies, especially babies of color, are living in conditions that science tells us can have a detrimental impact on healthy development.

The pandemic impacted many families, but it hit these families hardest. Amid these challenges, the data cast a spotlight on the bold action policymakers at both the state and federal levels took to mitigate the pandemic's consequences.

As we look at the data provided in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2023, we see that:

  • The number of infants and toddlers continues to decline.
  • The data tells us that diversity remains the hallmark of America’s babies, a source of strength and renewal. 
  • Poverty and disparities in access to resources along racial and ethnic lines continue to be defining features of a baby’s experience. 
  • The state where a baby is born and spends their first years also is a significant indicator as to whether a baby will have a strong start in life. 

Key Takeaways

The United States is home to 9 M
babies who comprise 3.4 percent of the nation’s population.

America’s babies and parents are more diverse than at any other point in our nation’s history, reflecting the characteristics of our society overall.

There are about 85000 fewer
babies than 5 years ago.
More than half, 49 %
of infants and toddlers born today are of color.

Two million infants and toddlers in America live in poverty, and poverty and low income remain the most striking demographic of babies in the United States.

Five Urgent Policy Priorities

The disparities in geography and by race, ethnicity and income emphasize the need for federal action to ensure equity and complement state efforts. For State of Babies Yearbook: 2023, the indicators pinpoint five priorities where urgent federal policy is needed to advance equitable opportunities for babies and their families.

State Policy Initiatives

Learn how states are improving outcomes for babies by searching ZERO TO THREE’s collection of articles highlighting innovative state policies and initiatives, searchable by issue area or state.

The State of Babies

The state where a child is born and lives during their first three years makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. See how your state stacks up—and where significant disparities exist in the opportunities available for babies.

About the State of Babies Yearbook

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2023 is part of ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies™. ZERO TO THREE created Think Babies to make the potential of every baby a national priority. When we Think Babies and invest in infants, toddlers, and their families, we ensure a strong future for us all. 

ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all infants and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals, and policymakers.

The data and indicator analysis in the Yearbook are powered by Child Trends, the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families. For 40 years, decision makers have relied on the organization’s rigorous research, unbiased analyses, and clear communications to improve public policies and interventions that serve children and families.

Our Funders

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2023 would not be possible without the generous support of the Perigee Fund and the Tikun Olam Foundation.

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State of Babies Yearbook: 2023

The State of Babies Yearbook bridges the gap between science and policy with national and state-by-state views of how America’s babies and their families are faring.

To learn more, read the Executive Summary and Indicator Dictionary, and explore the State Profiles.

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This indicator does not factor into the category's GROW ranking.