New: Demographic Summaries on Youth Sexual Orientation

Youth Sexual Orientation of Public School Students by Grade Level, 2015-2017

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You can now access demographic summaries by sexual orientation on In this section, find data summaries for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth; straight youth; and youth not sure of sexual orientation. These data are located in the “Data by Demographic” tab on the website which has additional summaries on other demographic groups of children and youth such as race/ethnicity, income level, and immigrant status.

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth have an increased risk for victimization, substance abuse, and child maltreatment. Four to 10% of California public school students in grades 7, 9, 11, and in non-traditional programs were gay, lesbian, or bisexual. They reported very different experiences and behaviors in 2015-2017 as compared to students who were straight:

  • 60% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported being bullied and harassed at least once in the previous year, and 45% were harassed because of their sexual orientation
  • 63% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported having depression-related feelings in the previous year compared with 26% of straight students
  • 24% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported being highly motivated in school compared with 37% of straight students

We hope you will use the demographic summaries on sexual orientation to share key findings with your community and tailor comprehensive supports. Expect newly updated data in this set of summaries in the coming months.


Children’s Health Resources

In Implications of COVID-19 for LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention The Trevor Project outlines how LGBTQ youth may be impacted by the pandemic and offers suggestions on how to support LGBTQ youth during this time.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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Latinx Children in California

With an increasingly diverse child population across California, acknowledging and addressing health inequities is more critical than ever. In an effort to inform and educate the public on the many factors that contribute to disparate health outcomes, The Children’s Partnership developed a series of fact sheets as part of its “A Child is a Child” campaign. In honor of Latinx Heritage month, we welcome Mayra E. Alvarez, president of The Children’s Partnership, to share important findings from their fact sheet, Latinx Children’s Health Snapshot, released in partnership with the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.

Latinx Child Health Inequities
California is home to 4.7 million Latinx children and youth. They form a large and diverse population of California who navigate multiple intersecting identities, cultures, and languages. Latinx children and youth face disproportionate structural barriers as they navigate through life, whether it’s accessing health coverage and services, having enough healthy food to eat, or living in communities with the highest rates of environmental pollution.

A collective equity agenda transforms current programs and policies in order to ensure all children, no matter their background, have the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential and lead healthy lives.

As a result of the pandemic, these inequities in our child-serving systems have only been made worse, especially for children of color, such as Latinx children:

COVID-19 and Latinx Child Health
The pandemic is wreaking havoc on millions of Latinx, Black and immigrant families in California, while simultaneously shouldering the front-line work that has kept our state’s economy running. Nearly 75% of children and youth diagnosed with COVID-19 are Latinx, even though they make up just over half of the state’s population.

Latinx Child Health Coverage
California has made critical strides to improve children’s access to health coverage, expanding Medi-Cal to cover all low-income children, regardless of immigration status in 2016. Today, 1 in 2 Latinx children are enrolled in Medi-Cal. Despite California efforts to expand coverage, Latinx children are almost 1.5 times more likely to be uninsured compared to other kids. Nearly 190,000 Latinx children remain without health coverage.

Latinx Youth Mental Health
As a result of community trauma and exacerbated by the pandemic, mental health concerns have been growing for Latinx young people. Between 2007 and 2014, Latinx youth mental health hospitalizations rose 86% compared to a 21% increase among white youth. Latina youth are more likely to consider suicide than their male counterparts and white female youth. Over 1 in 3 (34.3%) Latina youth has considered suicide and nearly 1 in 7 Latina youth (13.3%) have attempted suicide. For lesbian, bisexual and queer Latina youth, the reality is even worse: nearly half (48%) has considered suicide; and 1 in 3 (33%) lesbian, bisexual, and queer Latina youth attempted suicide.

Community Environments and Food Access
Systemic racism is at the root of health, income, and other inequities, which have widened as a result of the current crises. For Latinx families, access to healthy foods and safe environments has historically been a challenge and has only grown more difficult as a result of COVID-19. Latinx households with children are twice as likely to be experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic than white households with children. Latinx children make up 4 in 5 of children living in California census tracts impacted by the highest environmental pollution burdens and over half of students enrolled at schools impacted by
unsafe drinking water are Latinx.

Prioritizing Latinx Child Well-being
Latinx children comprise a growing part of California’s children. Recognizing their critical importance to California’s future, these data suggest that caring for our kids must prioritize the specific needs of Latinx children. These data also drive home the need to address systemic racism in order to address the multiple challenges impeding the well-being of the state’s Latinx children. With this global emergency, an impending recession and a national reckoning on racial justice comes an even greater moral imperative to develop a more equitable infrastructure that increases safety net supports, health access, and mental health services so that California’s Latinx children and families can achieve their right to thrive.

Learn more about child health inequities for Latinx and other children at The Children’s Partnership.


Additional Resources

The Children’s Partnership is a California nonprofit advocacy organization working at the intersection of research, policy and community engagement to ensure all children have the resources and opportunities they need to grow up healthy and lead productive lives. In addition to highlighting Latinx children’s health and well-being, The Children’s Partnership also has released fact sheets about these groups:

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ youth
  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander children
  • Black children

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Over Half of California Students are High-Need

High-Need Students in California, 2019

In California, 63% of students were considered high-need in 2019, meaning they were eligible for free or reduced price school meals, were English Learners, or were foster youth. School districts varied widely in the percentage of students with high-need, from less than 3% to more than 99% among districts with data. Looking further into understanding high-needs students, more than 59% of California school children – over 3.5 million students – were eligible for free or reduced price school meals (FRPM) in 2020, up from 51% in 2007. Not only are students eligible for FRPM based on family income, but also if they participate in the CalFresh or CalWORKS programs, are eligible for the Migrant Education Program, are homeless, or are foster youth.

The indicator describing high-need students is a part of a new topic on, Student Demographics. The new topic was created to celebrate student diversity in California and increase our understanding of diversity in terms of race/ethnicity, family economics, and more. Student demographic trends are useful for assessing needs and planning school and community services, and ultimately, they play an important role in informing policies and practices that address intransigent inequities. The topic, Student Demographics, combines relevant indicators previously under other topics as well as two new indicators: high-need students and students eligible for the migrant education program.

Student Demographics Resource

Getting Down to Facts II describes the challenges and the promising efforts to achieving California’s vision of providing an equitable public education.

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about Student Demographics and Characteristics of Children with Special Needs. See links to the latest here.

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Demographic Data on California Children

The Kidsdata team just released data on child demographics with 35 updated indicators. Find data on births, child populations, and projected child populations to 2060 in California. Data are broken down by age group, gender, and race/ethnicity. Additional county and school-district level student data are available by parent education level and sexual orientation and for transgender students.

Below data figures, you will find a section titled, “Learn More About.” In this section, see “Measures of Demographics on” for a summary of the indicators and data sources that describe California’s child population.

Demographics Resources

The US Census Bureau summarizes research on the long-standing undercount of young children in decennial censuses including which children have highest risk of coverage errors and what steps the Census Bureau has taken to improve the count in the 2020 Census.

In a previous Kidsdata News, Beth Jarosz from Population Reference Bureau explains how population projections can help inform policies and programs that support children’s health and well-being.

Children’s Health Resources

Child Trends explores challenges in Supporting Families and Child Care Providers during the Pandemic with a Focus on Equity and offers strategies to address families’ and providers’ unique needs.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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New Data on School Suspensions Highlight Educational Inequities

Students Suspended from School, by Foster Youth Status: 2018-2019

Image of a bar chart representing students suspended from school, by foster youth status recently released new data on school suspension and expulsion rates. Compare rates for foster youth, homeless students, and economically disadvantaged students as well as by disability status and by race/ethnicity.

In California public schools, 35 students for every 1,000 were suspended in 2019. Foster youth, in particular, experienced high rates of suspension. In 2018-2019, 152 per 1,000 foster youth were suspended from California schools compared with 34 per 1,000 among non-foster youth.

While foster youth were suspended at almost five times the rate of other students, some student groups were suspended at about double the rate.

For every 1,000 students,

For these student groups, being subjected to higher suspension rates than their peers represents another example of inequity among our youth. Suspensions, expulsions, and frequent absences for any reason are linked to lower test scores, higher dropout rates, and more frequent entries into the juvenile justice system, all of which can have lifelong effects on employment and earning potential. Recent California legislation provides momentum in a positive direction by restricting out-of-school suspensions, a change that should decrease rates and address educational inequities.

Educational Equity Resources

The Civil Rights Project at UCLA asks, Is California Doing Enough to Close the School Discipline Gap? A trend analysis showed that disparities in suspension rates have narrowed but remain in recent years.

A guidebook, Building Educational Equity Indicator Systems by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, helps state and school district leaders develop ways of tracking educational equity within their Pre-K – 12 systems.

Children’s Health Resources

The Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development – Early Childhood (RAPID-EC), a nationally representative longitudinal survey conducted by the University of Oregon’s Center for Translational Neuroscience, addresses the role of caregiver emotional support in buffering children in their latest report, How Long Can the Levee Hold?

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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The Digital Divide

California Children Living in Households with a Broadband-Connected Device by School District: 2014-2018

Image of bar chart displaying California Children Living in Households with a Broadband-Connected Device by School District: 2014-2018
As the school year begins, access to technology, including suitable devices for schoolwork and a sufficient broadband internet connection, is both a requirement for effective learning and a source of division in this new mode of mass education. Educational inequities become more acute when some children lack a dedicated device or have an inadequate internet connection. This digital divide compounds inequities and may have long-term consequences on educational outcomes. now offers data on access to broadband-connected devices under the recently updated Housing Affordability and Resources topic. Access to technology varies greatly across California school districts. In districts with data, as few as 60% of children ages 0-17 live in households connected to high-speed internet through a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other computer, in 2014-2018.

Access in California also varies by demographic characteristics. In 2018,

Efforts are underway to address students’ technology needs. Some districts are providing laptops and internet hotspots for students. Furthermore, The California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund, a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, California Department of Education, and Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, offers a centralized set of resources to address the digital divide. These and other approaches to increase access to technology for all children can contribute to equity in education.

Digital Divide Resources

California Parent Poll: COVID-19 and School Closures reported that 41% of parents felt they did not have enough devices in the home in late March 2020 and 29% lacked reliable internet access. This survey was conducted by Ed Trust-West.

California’s Digital Divide reported that 16% of school-aged children had no internet connection at home in 2017. This survey was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2019 reported that 73% of lower-income families in the United States with 8 to 18-year-old children had computers compared with 94% of higher-income families. This survey was conducted by Common Sense Media.

Children’s Health Resources

How the Pandemic is Affecting Every Aspect of Children’s Lives, by Children Now, shares findings and the steps California must take to address the complex needs of children and families.

Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic, available on ACEs Connection, shares resources and information on ways Californians can take care of themselves and their families during the pandemic.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about Housing Affordability and Resources, Math and Reading Proficiency, and School Attendance and Discipline. See links to the latest here.

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Two Quick Tips for

Image of Data by Topic page with Topic Overview link pointed to
With 57 topics and 600 indicators, exploring the data on may seem daunting. We offer two tips on understanding the website’s contents and streamlining how you are informed about the latest data that are important to you.

Topic Overview: A PDF resource summarizing the categories, topics, breakdowns, and timeframes available on the site.

Data Alerts: A method to receive email notifications when data that match your specific interests are released on the site. You can customize alerts for specific topics, geographic areas, and demographic groups that best support your work.

We’re here to help! Send your questions or suggestions about to


Resources on Children’s Health Equity

Maternal and Child Health Inequities Emerge Even Before Birth, a report from Zero to Three and Child Trends, finds serious racial and ethnic disparities in infant and maternal health care and health outcomes across the country.

Confronting Structural Racism in Research and Policy Analysis, a report by the Urban Institute, shares tools, strategies, and challenges for implementing institutional change based on insights from policy research, academia, and philanthropy. provides data, a Child Opportunity Index, and a Policy Equity Assessment for a diverse and equitable future.


COVID-19 Resources on Children

The CDC offers guidelines on keeping children healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak such as helping children stay socially connected and reinforcing preventive actions.

ACEs Connection collates resources about parenting with ACEs in a pandemic, including four topic-specific lists related to COVID-19 and ACEs Science.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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Data Tell a Powerful Story about Racial Inequities

Dear Kidsdata Community,

The appalling deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other victims of racism have caused immense pain for communities across the country, for all of us at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and for our colleagues in the Stanford Medicine community. Our country’s longstanding and deeply embedded racial bias, injustice, and discrimination stand in direct contrast to our values and mission to improve health for children, moms, and families. Yet, every day we see the disparities in health outcomes for Black children and communities of color.

We recognize at the Foundation and through Kidsdata that we have a powerful and privileged position to use data and resources to practice anti-racism and inspire change. We look forward to sharing our next steps in the coming weeks, and we welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Please send your ideas to


Infant Mortality Rate: 2012-2016

Data expose the consequences of racial injustice. But, data do not produce change. It’s you and I who must make the change. We wield data to expose the inequities and stoke the passion for transformation. We draw on data to help us remake policies and institutions to eradicate racist behaviors, practices, and violence.

Black children, from birth to young adulthood, experience the burden of systemic and institutionalized racism in health care, education, juvenile justice, and other social institutions. In California, persistent disparity has gone on for far too long, and the data continue to show us areas to prioritize in children’s health and well-being.


  • Black infants are less likely to be born to mothers who had received prenatal care than white infants (79% versus 88%)
  • Black mothers who recently gave birth are more likely to report that they had four or more hardships in their youth than white mothers (12% versus 9%)
  • Black infants are more likely to die than white infants (10 per 1,000 infants versus 4 per 1,000)

Adolescence and Transition to Adulthood

  • Black students are less likely to graduate from high school than white youth (73% versus 87%)
  • Black students are less likely to complete college preparatory courses than their white peers (36% versus 52%)
  • Black youth ages 10 to 17 are more likely to be arrested than white youth (20 per 1,000 versus 2 per 1,000)

Safety, Violence, and Death

  • Black students in 7th, 9th, and 11th grade and non-traditional programs feel more unsafe at school than their white peers (12% versus 6%)
  • Black babies and youth ages one to 24 are more likely to die than white youth (59 per 100,000 versus 31 per 100,000)
  • The leading cause of death among Black youth ages one to 24 is homicide which is 10 times the rate for white youth (21 per 100,000 versus 2 per 100,000)

Leveraging data and remaking policies and institutions would mean that more Black infants, children, and youth will live, Black children will feel safe, and Black young adults will have opportunity through education to become healthy, economically secure adults. At Kidsdata, we will continue to provide data that expose inequity and bring the most egregious findings to your attention. Please use them to transform our policies and institutions.

Summary and Fact Sheet Describing African American/Black Children in California »

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about high school graduation and college eligibility. See links to the latest here.

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A Collective Impact Approach to Prevent and Reduce Childhood Adversity in California

Children as friends celebrate children's birthday in the summer with colorful pinwheels

Adverse childhood experiences, such as poverty or mental illness of a family member, can lead to harmful health outcomes. However, effective policies and programs can prevent, nudge or even dramatically shift a child’s trajectory toward a brighter future. Guest author, Elena Costa, from the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the California Department of Public Health, introduces you to a collaborative approach to address childhood adversity in California.

The California Essentials for Childhood (EfC) Initiative is a statewide initiative that utilizes a collective impact model to address child maltreatment and prevent and reduce childhood adversity. This important work is led through a partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) Branch, and the California Department of Social Service (CDSS), Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP).

The EfC Initiative supports and participates in mutually reinforcing activities and strategies across multiple agencies and stakeholders to optimize the health and wellbeing of California’s children. In its second cycle of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this project seeks to:

  • Prevent and reduce child maltreatment through a public health approach
  • Raise awareness and commitment to promoting safe, stable, nurturing relationships, and environments (SSNR&E)
  • Create the context for healthy children and families through social norms change, programs, and policies
  • Utilize data to inform actions

The EfC Initiative engages 70 organizations and more than 130 stakeholders in a statewide coalition and supports five, topic specific, subcommittees (i.e., Data, Policy, Strengthening Economic Supports, and Trauma-Informed Practices) to define where there are opportunities to realize the Initiative’s vision that all California children, youth, and families thrive in safe, stable, nurturing relationships where they live, work, and play.

A critical component to the EfC Initiative’s efforts to identify and undertake mutually reinforcing activities is improving access to data that tells the story of childhood adversity as well as cultivating partnerships. Collaboration with programs, such as Kidsdata, ensures that the solutions proposed are based in data and need as well as the guidance given by subject matter experts.

Join us in defining solutions to address childhood adversity. You can learn more about the program by visiting the EfC’s Initiative webpage or contact me directly:

COVID-19 Resources on Children

During this difficult time, Kidsdata continues to work on behalf of children and families. If you have resources about children and COVID-19 to share, please contact us at We have included a few selected resources below.

10 Ways to Avoid ACEs, from Tufts Medical Center, provides guidance for parents, providers, and community members to prevent ACEs during COVID-19. Grounded in HOPE – Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences – this resource offers a new way of seeing and talking about experiences that support children’s growth and development into healthy, resilient adults.

Road to Resilience: Raising Healthy Kids, from the Mayo Clinic, offers a virtual self-paced program to reduce the effects of adverse childhood experiences. It includes videos and activities directed toward young children, tweens, and teens, as well as the adults who care for them.

COVID-19: Mapping vulnerable populations in California, from the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, identifies California regions most in need of resources and support. The maps can assist nonprofits, government agencies, and health organizations that are developing plans to allocate resources or are working on the ground to reach particular groups.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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New Childhood Adversity Data and Dashboards

Image of Childhood Adversity and Resilience flier

New and updated data describing childhood adversity and resilience are now available on The data cover more counties than previously offered and provide greater detail on childhood adversity. Also, in partnership with the Essentials for Childhood Initiative, you can now access data dashboards for every county in California.

Adversity and Resilience Data
See the latest parent reported data on childhood adversity and resilience in California. Based on the National Survey of Children’s Health, 38% of California children had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) during 2016-2018, and almost 4% had four or more ACEs. This measure includes nine types of ACEs. Statewide, the largest percentage of children experienced economic hardship or parent divorce (18% to 21%), but 7% were exposed to alcohol or drug abuse in the household and 5% had a family member with mental illness. County-level data show that the percentage of children experiencing two or more ACEs varied widely in 2016-2018, from 8% in San Mateo County to 30% in Humboldt County.

Child Adversity and Well-Being Dashboards
Access adversity and well-being dashboards for California and for all counties on ACEs Connection. These dashboards are a compelling way to tell a story of child adversity, health, and well-being using key data findings. They describe periods across the child life course, from pregnancy and birth, through early/middle childhood and adolescence. Every county’s dashboards are customized based on available data to ensure that all parts of California have equivalent information to address childhood adversity and promote protective factors. Partners across sectors can use dashboards to support decision-making and promote action to maximize health and well-being for babies, children, and youth.

These dashboards are a product of the Essentials for Childhood Initiative (EfC), a CDC-funded child maltreatment prevention project hosted by the California Departments of Public Health and Social Services.


Additional Resources on Adversity and Resilience

ACEs Aware, an initiative led by the Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services, shares a toolkit that describes ACEs science and provides guidance on how to screen for and respond to ACEs.

For a framework that promotes positive childhood experiences, read Responding to ACEs with HOPE: Health Outcomes from Positive Experiences.


COVID-19 Resources on Children

During this difficult time, Kidsdata continues to work on behalf of children and families. If you have resources about children and COVID-19 to share, please contact us at We have included a few selected resources below.

Coronavirus in Kids (COVKID) Tracking and Education Project, by The Women’s Institute for Independent Social Enquiry, compiles epidemiologic surveillance data on COVID-19 in children and teens to present timely data for clinicians, public health practitioners, policymakers, elected officials, and journalists.

A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development, from the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, pulls together resources that can help parents, caregivers, child care providers, pediatricians, and others who work with families.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health continually updates a curated list of COVID-19 Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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