Indiana Youth institute releases annual report on state's children, teens

Mar. 17—Cass County ranked second in Indiana for the number of homeless students and Carroll County was first in school attendance according to the recently released 2023 Indiana Kids Count Data Book.

The data was compiled and released by the Indiana Youth Institute. The statistics were based on numbers from 2020-2022.

The report found that 6.6 percent of Cass County students are homeless. Cass County also was fifth in the state for using in-school suspension, with a percentage of 8.60 students.

Carroll County topped the state with a 97.98 school attendance rate. The report also found that 15.9 percent of children in the county were uninsured, ranking seventh statewide.

Pulaski County ranked third in the state for the highest teacher retention rate at 96.4 percent. The county was 10th in the state with a 94.74 graduation rate and also had the lowest drop out rate at .66 percent.

Indiana ranked 28th in the nation for child well-being. When it came to child health the state dropped to 31 and had increased its rank in education from 19th in 2019 to 17th in 2022.

Indiana youth poverty rates nearly doubled from the previous numbers in 2020. The Indiana Youth Institute reported that the 2021 poverty rate was 16 percent, up by nearly eight percentage points from the prior year.

Of those children, Black children ages 5-17 experienced poverty at 20 percent and multiracial children at 6.7 percent.

In high school, 86.6 percent of students statewide graduated on time and 53.4 percent of those students enrolled in college within a year of graduation. However, the report stated that college enrollment has been dropping in recent years.

Suicidal ideation continued to be a concern in Indiana. Twenty-seven percent of high school students considered suicide in 2021, an increase from 19.8 percent in past years. Among those students, 65 percent identified as LGBTQ+.

There were 1,592,087 children under the age of 18 in Indiana, making up 23.6 percent of the population. Young adults, ages 18-24, made up 9.7 percent with an estimated population of 658,039.

The report estimated there were 42,000 students between the ages of 13-17 who identified as LGBTQ+. Only 4 percent of those students identified as transgender.

Accidents were the leading cause of death of young people aged 10-19 in Indiana in 2021. Twenty-three children aged 10-14, 55 teens aged 15-17 and 88 teens aged 18-19 were in involved in a fatal accident.

There were 56 assault deaths aged 18-19 and 21 deaths aged 15-17.

Thirty-four teens aged 18-19 and 21 teens aged 15-17 died from self-harm.

There were 18 children aged 10-14 who died from self-harm in 2021.

The complete 134-page report can be found on the Indiana Youth Institute website at