The Child & Youth Well-Being Index is a tool developed by the Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico (YDI), with the advice of the Institute of Statistics of Puerto Rico (IEPR), in order to obtain a radiography of the conditions in which children and youth, ages 0 to 21 years old, live in Puerto Rico.
The Child & Youth Well-Being Index contains 27 indicators in 5 fundamental dimensions for development:
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Children and young people have a safe and comfortable place to live, nutritious food and social recreational opportunities. Young people, especially the most vulnerable ones, have access to opportunities for decent work, to obtain income security, a transition to the employment world, alleviate poverty and facilitate growth and future opportunities.
Youth has a supportive community that helps them develop a favorable and suitable performance for their age and development stage. They know and believe in their abilities, skills and talents. They participate in a school, community and family environment that encourages the importance of learning.
Children not enrolled in school 
Teacher: Pupil Ratio 
Children from 3 to 4 years old not enrolled in school
Teenagers who were absent because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school 
Youth not enrolled and without high school diploma 
Advanced and proficient academic achievement in mathematics of students in fourth grade [2017 - 2018]
Children and young people have a support group that makes them feel safe, loved, appreciated and accepted. They sense that this group is interested in their present and their future, provides them their daily needs, encourage their growth and overall development and supports their interests and aspirations.
Children in single parent families 
Children maltreatment [2017 - 2018]
Households with children receiving food stamps 
Women who gave birth in the last year and has no high school diploma 
Grandparents responsible of their grandchildren 
Children and young people have access to basic quality health care, free of institutional violence and discrimination. They have a positive outlook on their well-being and the tools and knowledge to stay in optimum condition. They make informed decisions about their health, they have control over their body, avoid risks, know and practice favorable behaviors that promote a positive state of health.
Youth has safeguards, rights and protection from the law. They feel valued as an important resource in their community. The civil community provides them with tools that motivate them to make favorable decisions for their development. They also have a political and social system that includes them, ensures them a real place of participation in the discussion and pays attention to issues that affect their safety.
Teenage mortality (1,000) 
Teenagers who had seriously considered attempting suicide 
Recent alcohol usage in teenagers 
Recent marijuana usage in teenagers 
Teenagers in at least one physical fight on school property 
Teenagers that has been bullied on school property
After analyzing the 27 indicators in the Children and Youth’s Well-Being Index, when comparing Puerto Rico with the 50 states and the District of Columbia, we can see that Puerto Rico obtained a rating of D in the well-being of children and youth.
• The Child & Youth Well-Being Index seeks to shed light on the real situation in which our children and youth live, and make this population sector visible.
• The tool allows the user to establish comparisons between Puerto Rico and the 51 jurisdictions in the United States, through its 27 indicators.
• Because it offers a valid and up-to-date measurement of the critical aspects that affect the development of children and youth, the Well-Being Index serves as a guide for institutions that work with children and youth to establish priorities in their projects and programs.
• This instrument can also be used to justify the need for programs and services, which could also have a direct effect on the possibility of obtaining resources and funds for organizations, municipalities and the government.
• The Well-Being Index seeks to inform the general public on child poverty and promote debate on the current situation of children and youth in Puerto Rico; it facilitates the creation of well-being standards for local municipalities.
•It promotes decision-making and the development of informed policies on children and youth.
•Using data, the Well-Being Index seeks to contribute to raise the public opinion regarding the current state of children and youth in Puerto Rico.
•The Child & Youth Well-Being Index will allow the user to learn more about our cause, and it allows us at the YDI to constantly measure the results of our efforts.
Criteria of the indicators
In the process of creating the Child & Youth Well-Being Index of
Puerto Rico, more than 100 indicators related to the well-being of children and youth were evaluated. The YDI,
together with a focus group of professionals from different fields, made the final selection of the 27 indicators we believe have the best capacity to measure the level of well-being of children and youth in Puerto Rico, taking into account the following criteria:
1. Reliability of the sources: All information on the indicators comes from local and federal government agencies, and most of the data has already been published by official sources.
2. Data must be consistent and concurrent: The data collection methodology acknowledges likeness between data and the measurement of each variable must be performed every one or two years.
3. Data availability at the state and municipal level: The information allows identifying and comparing changes over time in the jurisdictions of the United States; it must also show correspondence with local and federal government projects.
4. Indicators must be understood by a wide range of audiences: Both young people and professional adults working for the well-being of children and youth in Puerto Rico should be able to understand and take advantage of accessing this data.
How is the Child & Youth Well-Being Index calculated?
To calculate the Well-Being Index, the Knowledge Assessment Methodology of the World Bank was used. The indicators (or variables) that make up the Child & Youth Well-Being Index are measured using
different units and scales. Therefore, in order to add the information, a normalization of each indicator was performed. This entails assigning positions to each of the 52 jurisdictions in the United States for each of the indicators. We normalized the position of each indicator on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 implies a positive connotation, while 0 points towards a negative connotation.
Nj(Z) refers to the jurisdictions with the lowest position in the indicator, while Nc(Z) is the total of jurisdictions that are being compared in the Z indicator.
Note:The standardization process can only be interpreted in relation to the data available from the other jurisdictions, so if any jurisdiction improves or worsens in any particular indicator, this does not necessarily have an impact on the final position of each jurisdiction.
What are the sources of information?
The following agencies and their respective studies or statistics nurture the Child & Youth Well-Being Index of Puerto Rico:
• U.S. Census Bureau
• Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
• Maternal & Child Bureau
• Analysis U.S. Dept. of Education
• National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
• National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)
• CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
• American Community Survey
• Census of Juveniles
• The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)
• Substance Abuse
• Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
• National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)
The following Indexes were also consulted for reference:
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012. Washington, DC: U.S.
UNICEF Office of Research (2013). ‘Child Well-being in Rich Countries: A comparative overview’, Innocenti Report Card 11, UNICEF Office of Research, Florence.
UNICEF Childhood and Adolescence Observatory (2010).
Note: Position number 1 denotes the jurisdiction with the highest percentage of this indicator, or the worst living condition.