Children of Color Face Significant Barriers to Success, Report Finds

Children of Color Face Significant Barriers to Success, Report Finds

African-American, Latino, Native American, and some subgroups of Asian-American children face significant barriers to achieving success in school and life, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds.

Based on a new Race for Results index, the report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children (36 pages, PDF), compared data derived from twelve indicators of a child's success in each stage of life and found that most children of color are less likely to grow up in economically successful families, live in supportive communities, and meet developmental, health, and educational milestones. Among other things, the report found that Asians/Pacific Islanders scored highest overall (776 out of a possible composite score of 1,000), followed by whites (704), Latinos (404), Native Americans (387), and African Americans (345), with similar results in nearly every state.

The report also found that African-American children in Michigan, Mississippi, and Wisconsin faced the greatest barriers to success and that some subgroups within the Asian/Pacific Islander and Latino communities face greater barriers than others. For example, among Asian/Pacific Islanders, children of Southeast Asian descent (Burmese, Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese) were the least likely to live in families with incomes of at least 200 percent of the poverty level, while among Latinos, children of Mexican and Central American descent were the least likely to do so. Latino children in immigrant families also scored lower on most indicators than Latino children in non-immigrant families.

The report calls for a multisector effort to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and, among other things, recommends collecting and analyzing racial/ethnic data to inform policy and decision making; using data and impact assessment tools to target investments on interventions with the greatest potential to make a difference for children and youth of color; and integrating strategies that connect vulnerable groups to jobs and economic opportunities.

"This first-time index shows that many in our next generation, especially kids of color, are off track in many issue areas and in nearly every region of the country," said Casey Foundation president and CEO Patrick McCarthy. "Race for Results is a call to action that requires serious and sustained attention from the private, nonprofit, philanthropic, and government sectors to create equitable opportunities for children of color, who will play an increasingly large role in our nation's well-being and prosperity."