TITLE: Kids Count
Students, faculty and professionals dealing with any aspect of the study of children, youth and families in the United States will find relevant research in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count web site. Established in 1948 by one of the United Parcel Service founders, the foundation's mission states "to help build better futures for the millions of disadvantaged children who are at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes".
Kids Count has been published annually since 1990 in print format under the title Kids Count Data Book. Most states also publish an annual print Kids Count Factbook with information specific to their population. The beauty of the Kids Count site is that it offers all national and state data sources and statistics from 1995 to the present. The selected indicators can be manipulated and extrapolated in several formats: profiles, graphs, maps, ranking and raw data. These functions would be particularly useful to students doing research in education, sociology, public health or social work. Each format provides a search screen with selection options such as desired indicator, geographic location(s) and time period. The results are clear and clean. The raw data is available in both Excel spreadsheets and standard comma delimited text files. One can choose to unzip the entire Kids Count raw data bank file or download by individual indicator.
Summary and findings explains the twenty-eight national indicators and ten key state indicators that are tracked with definitions and data sources (primarily taken from government sources). Criteria are established and listed for selecting particular indicators. They are clear to point out that over time some weaker indicators have been replaced by stronger indicators making some comparisons among states difficult. To amend this situation, the site offers an appendix that illustrates how states would have ranked in past years using the ten measures used for the 1999 Data Book. Text materials from the Kids Count web site may be used, downloaded, reproduced or reprinted with appropriate acknowledgement to the Foundation.
Reviewer Name: Mary C. MacDonald
Position: Reference Librarian
Institution: University of Rhode Island
Date of review: 11/24/99