National Indicators > Prevalence of CSHCN

Family Income, Race/Ethnicity, and Primary Language

The prevalence of special health care needs among the child population does not vary significantly by income group: prevalence rates in each income group are approximately 14 percent. Poverty guidelines are determined by a combination of family income and family size: in 2005, the Federal poverty guideline (100 percent of poverty) was $19,350 for a family of four.

The prevalence of special health care needs varies by the race/ethnicity of the child. The prevalence of special health care needs is highest among multiracial children (18.0 percent), followed by non-Hispanic White (15.5 percent), non-Hispanic Black (15.0 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (14.5 percent) and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander children (11.5 percent). The prevalence of special health care needs is lowest among Hispanic children (8.3 percent) and Asian children (6.3 percent).

Among Hispanics, the prevalence of special health care needs among children varies substantially depending on whether English or Spanish is the primary language spoken at home. Among Spanish speakers, 4.6 percent of children are reported to have special health care needs, but the prevalence among English-speaking Hispanics more closely resembles that of the population as a whole (13.0 percent). These findings are consistent with other studies of the prevalence of health conditions among Hispanic children.1,2,3

1Chen E, Martin AD, Matthews KA. Understanding health disparities: The role of race and socioeconomic status in children’s health. American Journal of Public Health, 96:702–708, 2006.
2Mendoza FS, Fuentes-Afflick E. Latino children’s health and the family-community health promotion model. Western Journal of Medicine, 170:85–92, 1999.
3Newacheck P, Halfon N. Prevalence and impact of disabling childhood chronic conditions. American Journal of Public Health. 88(4):610–617, 1998.

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