Louisiana Children : Statistics and Rankings

Louisiana has averaged 49th for overall child well-being among the states for 30 years.

Louisiana is a beautiful land of water, rivers, lakes, bayous, and swamps. We enjoy the special beauty of Louisiana, but we also know that with too much water comes disaster. Frequently, we mobilize in response to flooding. We recover from crises and natural disasters.

Yet we give too little attention to Louisiana’s chronic crisis of child well-being.

The waters are deep – much too deep – for Louisiana’s children and we must respond! How deep?  Louisiana’s Children By the Numbers is a “depth gauge” describing the condition of Louisiana’s children.

Louisiana’s Children By the Numbers

47The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says there should be 47 child and adolescent psychiatrists for every 100,000 children, or 1 for every 2,127 children. Louisiana has only 7.7 child and adolescent psychiatrists per 100,000 children. That's only 1 for every 12,987 children in Louisiana!
173,000In total, 173,000 children birth to age three are currently in need of early learning services in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
32.3%The number of child victims of abuse and neglect increased by 32.3% between 2011 and 2015.
59The average response time of Louisiana's DCFS to a referral for child abuse and neglect is 59 hours. This is 20 hours quicker than the national average of 79 hours.
46,002In 2015, Louisiana reported 46,002 referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of these, 25,364 (55.1%) were referred for investigation.
3939 Louisiana children died of abuse or neglect during 2015.
48A report by WalletHub, ranks Louisiana's day care system as the 48th worst in the nation.
17.6%The percentage of Food Insecure households rose from 11.7% in 2007 to 17.6% in 2015.
188,193Number of infants and toddlers in Louisiana.
30%30% of Louisiana's children age 4 months to 5 years are determined to be at moderate or high risk for developmental or behavioral problems.
48Louisiana is ranked as the 48th worst state for working mothers.
102According to DCFS, 102 of 172 sex trafficking victims in Louisiana in 2015 were children. 18 of these child victims were under the age of 12."
1 in 4More than 1 in 4 school-aged children in Louisiana live in poverty.
19%19% of children covered by Medicaid in Louisiana received all required dental care over a recent two-year period, according to a federal report that recommends a government push to improve access to care.
39%39% of New Orleans children live in poverty, well above national average, report says.
47Children in Louisiana are worse off than they would be if they lived in any of 46 other states in the nation.
37%The percentage of Louisiana's special education students who graduated high school (2013). The national average is 62%.
25%One quarter of Louisiana's students with disabilities were suspended from school in 2011-12; twice the suspension rate for non-disabled students in Louisiana.
94,000There are an estimated 94,000 children in Louisiana who have or have had an incarcerated parent.
16%Of the 362,616 Louisiana children under age 6, 16% (1 out of 6.25) live in extreme poverty.
30%Louisiana has experienced more than a 30% increase in child maltreatment over the past 5 years.
49Louisiana's 28-year average rank for overall child well-being among the states.
89%89% of Louisiana's African-American 4th grade public school students score below proficient in reading achievement as measured and defined by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test.
39,918Number of homeless children (2013).
47Louisiana's rank among states for risk of child homelessness.
23.1%Nearly 1 out of 4 children in rural communities do not graduate high school.
5.5%In 5.5% of Louisiana households, eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food intake reduced because the household lacked money and other resources for food.
4,639Number of Louisiana children in foster care.
28.8%Poverty rate for children under 18 years of age.
32.2%Poverty rate for children under 5 years of age.
1,116,185Number of children in Louisiana under 18 years of age.
43.8%The percentage of New Orleans children under 18 who live below the poverty level: 43.8%.
1 of 123In 2016, 1 out of every 123 babies born in Louisiana died before her or his first birthday.
40%Of the 10,119 children who were abused or neglected in 2013, nearly 40% or 3,905 were 3 years old or younger.
1,960Number of Louisiana children reported as victims of physical abuse in 2015.
8,828Number of Louisiana children reported as victims of neglect in 2013.
12,631Number of children in Louisiana who were victims of child abuse in 2015.
80%80% of Louisiana's adolescents held in secure custody are African American. "African American youth are disproportionally represented in every custody and supervision status."
65.7%65.7% of Louisiana's children have experienced dental decay.
42%42% of Louisiana's third graders suffer from untreated tooth decay.
40%More than 40 percent of parents missed work regularly over the last three months due to child care issues, while more than 42 percent reported leaving work early regularly during that time frame because of their kids.
121,746Number of grandparents raising grandchildren.
77%77% of Louisiana's fourth grade public school students score below proficient in reading achievement as measured and defined by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test.
29,00012% of Louisiana's teens ages 16 to 19 are not attending school (full- or part-time) and not working (full- or part-time) (2013).
19%19% of Louisiana’s children live in areas of concentrated poverty.
46%46% of Louisiana's children live in single-parent households.
8181 countries keep more of their babies alive beyond their babies’ first birthdays than does Louisiana. (See America’s Health Rankings’s latest Annual Report). With Louisiana's infant mortality rate of 8.1 in 2016, 1 out of every 123 babies did not have a first birthday.

Data provided in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book, show Louisiana’s infant mortality rate is worse than that of 81 countries including the likes of Lebanon, Russia, Qatar, Guam, the Faroe Islands, Malta, South Korea, Macau, Sri Lanka, Cuba and Costa Rica. Louisiana’s infant mortality rate lags behind the current rates of the second world, former communist-socialist and Soviet Bloc countries such as Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Slovakia, and Latvia.
4747 states have better infant mortality rates than Louisiana where 1 out of 123 infants dies before her or his first birthday. (See America’s Health Rankings’s latest Annual Report.)
27.6%27.6 percent of children under age 18 in related families in Louisiana had incomes below the poverty line in 2014. Center for American Progress State of the States Report 2015