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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2014

Nearly 6 Out of 10 Children Participate in Extracurricular Activities, Census Bureau Reports

Release Number CB14-224
Component ID: #ti805411015

Fifty-seven percent of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity, according to a new report released today from the U.S. Census Bureau. The report found that children were more likely to participate in sports (35 percent) than clubs or lessons like music, dance and language (both around 29 percent).

A Child’s Day: Living Arrangements, Nativity, and Family Transitions: 2011 uses statistics from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine aspects of a child’s well-being, examining their participation in extracurricular activities, and how participation related to a child’s living arrangements, parental nativity status and household or economic transitions.

“The well-being of children is an area of interest to researchers and policymakers who focus on the social, cognitive and economic security of children,” said demographer Lynda Laughlin of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch and the report’s author. “Participation in extracurricular activities is one indicator we study.”

The report found that household structure was associated with children’s involvement in extracurricular activities. Children living with married parents were more likely to participate in sports, clubs or lessons than children living with cohabiting parents or a single parent.

Other findings:

Children’s Living Arrangements

  • Elementary and high school children who lived with a single parent were more likely to eat dinner with a parent than similarly aged children who lived with two unmarried parents.
  • Children 1 to 2 years old who lived with married parents were read to 8.5 times per week compared with 5.7 times per week for children of the same age who lived with a single parent.
  • Repeating a grade was more common for children 12 to 17 years old who lived with two unmarried parents (13 percent) than for children who lived with married parents (6 percent).

Foreign-Born Parents

  • 73 percent of children who lived with at least one foreign-born parent were more likely to live with two married parents, compared with 60 percent of children with native-born parents.
  • 30 percent of children 6 to 11 years old who lived with native-born parents participated in clubs compared with 19 percent of similarly aged children with at least one foreign-born parent.
  • 26 percent of children 12 to 17 years old with at least one foreign-born parent participated in lessons, compared with 29 percent of similarly aged children with native-born parents.

 Family Transitions

  • Over half (56 percent) of children experienced a transition related to a change in family structure, residence or parental employment between 2008 and 2011.
  • The most common type of transition that children experienced was a change in a parent’s employment status (32 percent).
  • Between 2008 and 2011, 3 percent of children encountered all three types of transition: a change in family structure, residence and parental employment. Children 12 to 17 years old who experienced a family structure transition were less likely to participate in sports (33 percent) compared with 41 percent of similarly aged children who did not experience a family structure change. Regardless of age or the type of transition, the same proportions of children interacted with their parents when it came to family reading. For instance, 51 percent of children 1 to 5 years old who did not experience a family structure transition were read to by a family member seven or more times per week, not different from 49 percent of children who did experience a family structure transition.

Other measures of child well-being examined in the report and detailed table package include television viewing rules, school engagement, parental interaction with children, and early child care experiences.

These data were collected in the Survey of Income and Program Participation. As in all surveys, these data are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For further information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, go to <http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sipp/tech-documentation/source-accuracy-statements/source-accuracy-statements-2008.html>.

Contact


Public Information Office

301-763-3030

pio@census.gov

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