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Teen Birth Rates, Homicides on Increase, Report Shows
Another disturbing trend is the increase in violent crimes and homicides committed by adolescents, Sondik said.
"Homicides increased in 2005 for the first time since 1993," Sondik said. "In 2005, the firearm homicide rate also increased for the first time in more than a decade."
Adolescents aged 12 to 17 who committed violent crimes increased from 14 crimes per 1,000 in 2004 to 17 per 1,000 in 2005. This is still a substantially lower rate than was seen in 1993, when there were 52 violent crimes per 1,000 adolescents, the report stated.
However, there was a decline in the number of deaths from injury among children aged 5 to 14. Deaths from injury dropped from 8.2 per 100,000 in 2004 to 7.7 per 100,000 in 2005. Deaths from injuries among adolescents aged 15 to 19 also dropped, from 51.3 per 100,000 in 2004 to 49.8 in 2005.
Other risky behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use, were unchanged, report authors noted.
From 2005 to 2006, the numbers of children with health insurance dropped to 88 percent from 89 percent. During that year, 8.7 million (12 percent) of the nation's children had no health insurance, according to the report.
Most American children (81 percent), aged 19 months to 30 months had their recommended vaccinations. This is up substantially from the 70 percent it was a decade ago, Sondik said.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics is a working group of agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families. The group also has partners in private research organizations.
To see the full report, visit the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
SOURCES: July 10, 2008, teleconference with: Edward J. Sondik, Ph.D., director, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008