Let’s break down the barriers
that stand in the way of our kids’

Health & Safety.

Health & Safety Icon

Access to Insurance & Care

While DC does a better job than many states of providing health support, there are still big gaps in health care access.
  • Approximately 7 out of 10 children are covered by Medicaid or DC Healthy Families or the Immigrant Children’s Program, but coverage isn’t always continuous. 9% of Black children, 4% of Latinx, and 2% of white children had periods without health insurance coverage in the year prior according to the 2020-2021 National Survey of Child Health.
  • Approximately 23% of Black and Latinx children didn’t have a preventative care visit in the past year, versus just 6% of white children.
  • Home visiting is a way of delivering prevention and early intervention services for expecting parents and families of young children. DC home visiting programs supported more than 2,628 parents and children in 2023.
Preventative Care Visits for DC Children
Children with Private Health Insurance Only
Children with Public Health Insurance Only
Check-Up in the Last Year (2020-21 National Survey of Child Health)
Demographics Icon

Race & Equity

DC Children and Youth in Each Group Who Are Covered by Medicaid (2018)
71%
Black
8%
White
51%
White

Adolescent Health

Many disparities exist in adolescent health outcomes.
  • Black middle and high school students are roughly three times as likely to have attempted suicide as white middle and high school students according to the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  • Middle school girls of color have particularly high rates – nearly one out of five female Black and Latina middle school students reported having attempted suicide.
  • One area where DC has reduced the challenges facing teenagers is teen birth rates. The number of births to 15-19 year-olds fell from a high of 1,083 in 2008 to 240 in 2022.
DC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students are More at Risk for Suicide

Nutrition

While more District children benefited from SNAP during the public health emergency, keeping kids fed requires ongoing support.
  • Nearly two out of five DC children received SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) at the peak of the public health emergency, a striking increase from 2019. Now that the federal benefits are reduced, the District should take steps to ensure that children who need nutrition support still get it.
  • 90% of the DC residents receiving SNAP are Black and 2% are Latinx. See Early Childhood for information on WIC (Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children).
  • While the District has made progress, there are gaps in grocery access where many children live. Only seven full-service grocery stores service wards 7 and 8, where 36% of DC children live. Each store serves at least twice the number of residents as those in any other ward of the District except Ward 5. 
DC SNAP Enrollment
DC Residents Participating in SNAP (2020)
Demographics Icon

Race & Equity

DC COVID-19 Deaths by Race (November 2022)
73%
Black
14%
White
11%
Latinx

Policing

Concerns about over-policing youth are born out in the stops, searches, use of force, and arrests data.
  • Black youth under 18 were stopped at more than 10 times the rate of their white peers in 2022, with an even greater disparity for Black versus white boys.
  • Police also searched Black youth under 18 far more often than they did white youth: 949 compared to just 3.
  • Police were also far more likely to use force with Black children than white children: nearly all (161 out of 170) of the use-of-force incidents with children under the age of 18 in 2021 were with Black children. In nearly half these incidents the police pointed a firearm at the child.
  • In DCPS, 92% of school-based arrests in 2018-19 were of Black students (60% of the student body). And 29% of school-based arrests were of students with disabilities (18% of the student body).
9 out of 10 Children Stopped by Police are Black
Percent of Youth Under 18 Subjected to DC Metropolitan Police Department Stops (2022)

Find more information about all the demographic measures in our data references section and visit our appendix to download a table with the full DC KIDS COUNT 2024 data set.