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Children's health - Statistics & Facts

Children around the world face different health problems depending on a variety of factors including but not limited to the region and country they are in, the income of their family, and their access to health care. In 2019, an estimated 74 children in Africa per 1,000 live births died in their first five years, compared to a rate of only 13 in the Americas. Furthermore, all of the 15 countries with the highest mortality rate among children aged under five were located in Africa. In the United States the national infant mortality rate stood at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 2019, with the state of Mississippi reporting the highest rate of any state.

Health risks

Access to modern health care allows U.S. children health benefits not always available to children in less developed regions. For example, around 91.5 percent of children in the United States aged 19 to 35 months have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). On the other hand, children in the U.S. are more susceptible to certain health problems than those in other countries. The rising prevalence of childhood obesity and its many adverse effects has continued to be a source of public health concern, with around 19 percent of children aged 6 to 11 reported to be obese. Furthermore, U.S. children are also prone to accidental injury and in 2019, cosmetics or personal care products caused 109,465 pediatric poisonings, while poisoning from analgesics caused 3 pediatric deaths.

Health insurance among children in the United States

Having health insurance is vital for children to have access to the health care that they require, however, a large number of children in the U.S. remain without health insurance. Around 900,000 children aged one to five years were uninsured in 2019, while 3.2 million of those aged 6 to 18 years had no insurance. The number of children enrolled in Medicaid is expected to grow in the coming years with an estimated 29.3 million children enrolled in 2021. The United States does not lack qualified pediatricians, but access barriers persist.


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