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The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) is pleased to present Child Health USA 2004, the 15th annual report on the health status and service needs of America’s children. To assess the Bureau’s progress toward achieving its vision for a nation where all individuals enjoy equal access to quality health care in a supportive, culturally competent, family and community setting, MCHB has compiled this book of secondary data for 55 health and health care indicators. It provides both graphical and textual summaries of data and addresses long-term trends where applicable.

All of the data discussed here came from the same sources as the information in the graphs (unless noted otherwise). Data are presented for the target populations of Title V funding: infants, children, adolescents, children with special health care needs, and women of childbearing age. In addition to population characteristics, this book also addresses health status and health services utilization. Child Health USA 2004 also provides insight into the nation’s progress toward the goals set out in the MCHB’s strategic plan — to assure quality of care, to eliminate barriers and health disparities, and to improve the health infrastructure and system.

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

The first section, Population Characteristics, presents statistics on factors that influence the well-being of children. The second section, entitled Health Status, contains vital statistics and health behavior information for infants, children, adolescents, and women of childbearing age. The third section, Health Services Financing and Utilization, contains data regarding health care financing and newly implemented health policies. The fourth and fifth sections, State Data and City Data, contain information on selected indicators at the State and city levels.