National Map

The State of America’s Babies

Where children are born can affect their chances for a strong start in life. Babies need Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences to foster their healthy brain development and help them realize their full potential.

This national profile provides a snapshot of how infants, toddlers, and their families are faring in each of these three policy domains. Within each domain, view data for selected child, family, and policy indicators. The profile begins with a demographic description of the nation’s babies and families to offer the broadest context for exploring what may be very different experiences of the nation’s youngest children.

Demographics

U.S.

Infants and toddlers in the United States

The United States is home to 11.4 million babies, representing 3.4 percent of the nation’s population. As many as 40.3 percent live in households with incomes less than twice the federal poverty line (in 2020, about $52,400 for a family of four), placing them at economic disadvantage. America’s youngest children are diverse and are raised in a variety of family contexts and household structures.

Click Plus symbol to see selected indicators by subgroup.
Race/ethnicity of infants and toddlers
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
White
Poverty status of infants and toddlers
Above Low-income
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 75.3%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Other
White
Low-income
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 29.3%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races*
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Other
White
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
In Poverty
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 39.0%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black*
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Other
White
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
150% SMI
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 91.1%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Other
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 87.6%
Urban
Rural
Infants and toddlers in poverty, by race
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
White
Percent Infant Toddler
Population Infant Toddler
Family Structure
Two Parents
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 93.7%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 89.2%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 79.5%
Urban
Rural
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
One Parent
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 46.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 35.0%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 21.4%
Urban
Rural
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
No Parent
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 11.9%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 1.8%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 3.5%
Urban
Rural
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
Grandparent-headed households
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 34.3%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 9.1%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 8.8%
Urban
Rural
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
Working Moms
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 70.7%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 72.7%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 63.7%
Urban
Rural
*Numbers are small; use caution in interpreting.
No Working Parents
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 10.9%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 12.6%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 6.8%
Urban
Rural
Living Outside of a Metro Area

Good Health

How are babies in the United States faring in Good Health?

Supporting babies’ and mothers’ physical and mental health provides the foundation for infants’ lifelong physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being. Babies’ brains grow rapidly in the first years of life, and, in these early years, the brain works with other organs and organ systems to set the stage for subsequent development and health outcomes. Equitable access to good nutrition during the prenatal period and first years of life is key to ensure that babies receive the nourishment and care they need for a strong start in life. Strengthening equitable access to integrated, affordable maternal, pediatric, and family health care is also essential to meeting babies’ and families’ health and developmental needs.

National data in the Good Health domain include indicators of maternal and child health, including health care coverage, prenatal care, birth outcomes, and receipt of recommended preventive care as well as nutrition and mental health. National averages and state counts in these areas indicate that infants and toddlers as a whole are doing well or have made gains in areas such as high percentages completing routine medical visits, vaccinations, and low percentages of low-income infants and toddlers who are uninsured. However, as reflected in the subgroup views the profile includes for several indicators, these gains may not be shared by all groups.

Key Indicators of Good Health

Click Plus symbol to see selected indicators by subgroup.
U.S.
Uninsured low-income infants/toddlers
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 12.7%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Other
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 6.7%
Urban
Rural
Ever breastfed
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 86.6%
Black
Hispanic
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 90.3%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Infants breastfed at 6 months
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 60.9%
Black
Hispanic
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 65.9%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Late or no prenatal care received
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 13.3%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 6.5%
Urban
Rural
Mothers reporting less than optimal mental health
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 22.7%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 26.9%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births)
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0
Max: 10.8
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Babies with low birthweight
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 14.2%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 8.4%
Urban
Rural
Preterm births
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 14.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 10.6%
Urban
Rural
Preventive medical care received
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 93.4%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Preventive dental care received
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 41.2%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 37.8%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Received recommended vaccines
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 75.9%
Black
Hispanic
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 79.2%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Medical home
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 59.1%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 58.4%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Good Health Policy in America
Number of States
Medicaid expansion state
Yes
39
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) unborn child option
Yes
17
State Medicaid policy for maternal depression screening in well-child visits
  • Recommended 27
  • Allowed 9
  • No Policy 7
  • Required 8
Medicaid plan covers social-emotional screening for young children
Yes
44
Medicaid plan covers IECMH services at home
Yes
49
Medicaid plan covers IECMH services at pediatric/family medicine practices
Yes
46
Medicaid plan covers IECMH services in early childhood education settings
Yes
34
Pregnant workers protection
  • All employees covered (private and state) 5
  • State employees only 3
  • Limited coverage: State employees and private employees with exceptions 23
  • No protections 20
Postpartum extension of Medicaid coverage
  • No law beyond mandatory 60 days 48
  • Law covering all women for 1 year post-partum 0
  • Law covering either some women but not all, or all women but for less than 1 year 3
Note: N/A indicates Not Available
All Good Health Indicators
U.S.
Health Care Coverage and Affordability
Eligibility limit (% FPL) for pregnant women in Medicaid
200.0
Uninsured low-income infants and toddlers
5.1%
Medical home
NA
Nutrition
Infants ever breastfed
NA
Infants breastfed at 6 months
56.8%
High weight-for-length
NA
WIC coverage
NA
Maternal Health
Late or no prenatal care received
6.4%
Maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 live births)
NA
Mothers reporting less than optimal mental health
21.9%
Children’s Health
Babies born preterm
10.2%
Babies with low birthweight
8.3%
Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births)
5.6
Preventive dental care received
34.5%
Preventive medical care received
91.1%
Received recommended vaccines
72.7%
Children’s Mental Health Services
See Good Health Policies
Note: N/A indicates Not Available.

Strong Families

How are babies in the United States faring in Strong Families?

Young children develop in the context of their families, where stability, safety, and supportive relationships nurture their growth. All families may benefit from parenting supports, but families with low income and in historically marginalized communities of color face additional challenges that impact their babies’ immediate and future well-being.

National data in the Strong Families domain include indicators of child and family well-being, including resilience and adverse childhood experiences; basic needs, including food insecurity, housing circumstances, and receipt of TANF benefits among families in poverty; and child welfare, including child maltreatment and movement of infants and toddlers into and out of the foster care system. National averages and state counts indicate that collectively babies and toddlers are doing well or have made small gains in areas such as low percentages living in unsafe neighborhoods and experiencing housing instability. However, subgroup views of several indicators show these gains may not be shared by all groups.

Key Indicators of Strong Families

Click Plus symbol to see selected indicators by subgroup.
U.S.
TANF benefits receipt among families in poverty
Housing instability
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 4.3%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 4.2%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Crowded housing
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 27.8%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Other
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 24.4%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 16.3%
Urban
Rural
Unsafe neighborhoods
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 7.7%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 0%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Family resilience
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 88.5%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 88.3%
Low Income
Above Low Income
1 adverse childhood experience
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 26.1%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 28.7%
Low Income
Above Low Income
2+ adverse childhood experiences
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 11.8%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 12.7%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Infant/toddler maltreatment rate
Time in out-of-home placement
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 27.5%
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hispanic
Multiple Races
Removed from home (per 1,000 infants/toddlers)
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0
Max: 20.7
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Black
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Multiple Races
White
Low or very low food security
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 32.0%
American Indian/Alaska Native*
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Urbanicity
Min: 0%
Max: 15.8%
Urban
Rural
Strong Families Policy in America
Number of States
Paid family leave
Yes
10
Paid sick time that covers care for child
Yes
14
TANF Work Exemption
Yes
24
State Child Tax Credit
Yes
6
State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Yes
31
Note: N/A indicates Not Available
All Strong Families Indicators
U.S.
Basic Needs
TANF benefits receipt among families in poverty
18.5%
Housing instability
2.9%
Crowded housing
15.4%
Unsafe neighborhoods
5.2%
Low or very low food security
NA
Child Well-being and Resilience
Family resilience
84.9%
19.6%
2 or more adverse childhood experiences
7.3%
Infant/toddler maltreatment rate (per 1,000 children ages 0-2)
15.9
Removed from home
7.1
Time in out-of-home placement
NA
Permanency: Adopted
34.6%
Permanency: Guardian
8.3%
Permanency: Relative
7.8%
Permanency: Reunified
48.1%
Potential home visiting beneficiaries served
2.1%
Supportive Policies
Note: N/A indicates Not Available.

Use our interactive table to get a snapshot view of all states’ results on any Yearbook indicator in our three domains.

Compare Indicators Across States

Positive Early Learning Experiences

How are babies in the United States faring in Positive Early Learning Experiences?

Infants and toddlers learn through interactions with the significant adults in their lives and active exploration of enriching environments. The quality of babies’ early learning experiences at home and in other care settings can impact their cognitive and social-emotional development as well as early literacy. High-quality early childhood care can strengthen parents’ interactions with their children in the home learning environment and support parents’ ability to go to work or attend school. Equitable access to high-quality care across factors like race, ethnicity, and income, ensures all infants and toddlers have the opportunity for optimal development. However, disparities in access to high-quality care remain across many states and communities in the United States.

National data in the Positive Early Learning Experiences domain include indicators related to exposure to early learning opportunities at home, child care quality and access to child care, and the prevalence of developmental screenings and services. State averages indicate that babies and toddlers as a whole have made gains in developmental screenings. However, as reflected in the subgroup views the profile includes for several indicators, these gains may not be shared by all groups.

Key Indicators of Positive Early Learning Experiences

Click Plus symbol to see selected indicators by subgroup.
U.S.
Parent reads to baby every day
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 45.2%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 43.7%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Parent sings to baby every day
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 64.1%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 62.9%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Percentage of income-eligible infants/toddlers with Early Head Start access
Low/moderate income infants/toddlers in CCDF funded-care
Developmental screening received
Race/Ethnicity
Min: 0%
Max: 36.4%
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Income
Min: 0%
Max: 36.9%
Low Income
Above Low Income
Percentage of infants/toddlers receiving IDEA Part C services
Positive Early Learning Experiences Policy in America
Number of States
Infant eligibility level for child care subsidy above 200% of FPL
Yes
16
Allocated CCDBG funds
Yes
34
Group size requirements meet or exceed EHS standards for at least one age
  • Infants 16
  • Infants and Younger Toddlers 6
  • All age groups 1
Adult/child ratio requirements meet or exceed EHS standards for at least one age
  • Infants 21
  • Infants and Younger Toddlers 12
  • All age groups 2
Level of teacher qualification required by the state beyond a high school diploma
  • CDA/state equivalent required 6
  • No credential beyond high school 45
Infant/toddler credential adopted
Yes
30
State reimburses center based child care at/above 75th percentile of market rates
Yes
1
State includes "at-risk" children as eligible for IDEA Part C services or reports that they serve “at-risk” children
Yes
6
Note: N/A indicates Not Available
All Positive Early Learning Experiences Indicators
U.S.
Elements that Support Child Care Quality
Adult/child ratio
NA
Level of teacher qualification required by the state beyond a high school diploma
NA
Group size
NA
Infant/toddler professional credential
30.0%
Activities that Support Early Learning
Parent reads to baby every day
36.8%
Parent sings to baby every day
57.3%
Access to Early Learning Programs
% Income-eligible infants/toddlers with Early Head Start access
11.0%
Low/moderate income infants/toddlers in CCDF-funded care
4.6%
Cost of care, as % of income married families
NA
Cost of care, as % of income single parents
NA
Early Intervention
Developmental screening received
33.8%
Percentage of infants/toddlers receiving IDEA Part C services
7.2%
Timeliness of Part C services
NA
Note: N/A indicates Not Available.
Not Ranked
This indicator does not factor into the category's GROW ranking.
Read More