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Preface and Reader's Guide

The Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) is pleased to present Child Health USA 2012, the 22nd annual report on the health status and service needs of America's children. MCHB envisions a Nation in which the right to grow to one's full potential is universally assured through attention to the comprehensive physical, psychological, and social needs of the maternal and child population. To assess the progress toward achieving this vision, MCHB has compiled this book of secondary data for more than 50 health status and health care indicators. It provides both graphical and textual summaries of relevant data, and addresses longterm trends where applicable and feasible.

All of the data discussed within the text of Child Health USA are from the same sources as the information in the corresponding graphs, unless otherwise noted. Data are presented for the target population of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant: infants, children, adolescents, children with special health care needs, and women of childbearing age. Child Health USA 2012 addresses health status and health services utilization within this population, and offers insight into the Nation's progress toward the goals set out in the MCHB's strategic plan—to assure quality of care, eliminate barriers and health disparities, promote an environment that supports maternal and child health, and improve the health infrastructure and system of care for women, infants, children, and families.

Child Health USA is designed to provide the most current data available for public health professionals and other individuals in the public and private sectors. The book’s succinct format is intended to facilitate the use of the information as a snapshot of children’s health in the United States.

Population Characteristics is the first section and presents statistics on factors that influence the well-being of children, including poverty, education, and child care. The second section, entitled Health Status, contains vital statistics and health behavior data for the maternal and child population. Health Services Financing and Utilization, the third section, includes data regarding health care financing and utilization of selected health services. The final sections, State Data and Rural and Urban Data, contain information on selected indicators at those levels.

Child Health USA is not copyrighted and readers may duplicate and use all of the information contained herein; however, the photographs are copyrighted and permission may be required to reproduce. This and all editions of Child Health USA since 1999 are available online.

For a complimentary copy of this publication, mail your request to HRSA Information Center, 8280 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102. You may also call 1-888-ASK-HRSA or email ask@hrsa.gov.

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