Chapter

Child well-being in the US: proposal for the development of a ‘Tots Index’ using the human development conceptual framework

Sarah Burd-Sharps, Patrick Guyer, Ted Lechterman and Kristen Lewis

in Global Child Poverty and Well-being

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9781847424822
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447307235 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424822.003.0007
Child well-being in the US: proposal for the development of a ‘Tots Index’ using the human development conceptual framework

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Despite having per capita incomes well in excess of most other countries, the US also has some of the highest rates of child poverty in the OECD and compares poorly to most high-income countries on other critical indicators of child well-being. In this chapter, the authors make the case for the development and use of a ‘Tots Index’ for the United States, rooted in the human development approach, which would include key indicators of child well-being appropriate for use in an affluent country. The authors show why an index focusing on children under the age of five in the US is needed and evaluate their own American Human Development Index and other existing measures to determine if these are suitable proxies for measuring child well-being. Finding that all existing metrics have liabilities in this regard, the authors lay out a framework for a new multidimensional indicator for this purpose and discuss the types of indicators it should include.

Keywords: Child poverty; Tots Index; Well-being; United States

Chapter.  8369 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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