The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005
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Safety of the Child in the Neighborhood  |  Child Care

Safety of the Child in the Neighborhood

Families are more likely to feel comfortable in their neighborhood if they feel that their children are safe. Parents were asked how often they felt that their child was safe in their community or neighborhood— never, sometimes, usually, or always. Overall, parents of almost 84 percent of children report that they feel that their child is usually or always safe in their neighborhood. Parents of children in rural areas are more likely to feel that their child is safe than parents of children in urban areas: 82.6 percent of children in urban areas are safe, according to their parents, compared to 86.9 percent of children in large rural and 90.2 percent of children in small rural areas.

Parents of children with higher family incomes and White, multiracial, and American Indian/Alaska Native children are most likely to report that their child is safe in his or her neighborhood. Within every income group, the percent of children whose parents report them to be safe in their neighborhood is highest in rural areas, although the disparity between urban and rural begins to diminish as income rises. For instance, among children with family incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL), 66.5 percent in urban areas are reportedly safe in their neighborhood, compared to 82.7 percent in small rural areas; among children with family incomes of 400 percent of FPL and above, the rate in urban areas is 93.1 percent compared to 95.7 percent and 95.5 percent in large and small rural areas, respectively.

In each racial and ethnic group, rural children are more likely to be reported as safe in their neighborhoods, with one exception: White children are least likely to be reported to be safe in the neighborhood in large rural areas (90.8 percent), although they are most likely to be considered safe in the neighborhood in small rural areas (93.4 percent). In all locations, White children are more likely to be reported to be safe in their neighborhood than are Black children: of urban White children, for example, 91.5 percent are reported to be safe, compared to 68.0 percent of urban Black children.

Graph: Percent of children who are reported to be usually or always safe in their neighborhood, by location

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This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.