There are many ways to measure what it means today to be a kid in America: We can size up the number of children in poverty, or the share who, at some point in the past year, didn't have enough to eat. We can count how often their parents read to them, or how many got drunk in the last month.
We can track their movement through the juvenile justice system or foster care, or in and out of health insurance. We can size up the behaviors that seem to predict success — or a shortage of it — later in life: How many teens already have babies of their own, or managed to graduate high school on time?
Every year the Annie E. Casey Foundation updates a massive trove of data on all of these indicators tracing the wellbeing of America's children. And the metrics vary broadly across the country — another sign that where children live heavily shapes the chances they have in life.