Historical statistics on adoption in the United States, plus statistics on child population and welfare

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 5 August 2017

Introduction: Two tables are presented below. The first summarizes adoption and foster care statistics for the United States from 1940 to the present. The second provides an assortment of data related to United States child population, births, and child welfare. Note that data are from multiple sources, sometimes using unconsistent methods or reporting periods (e.g. fiscal year vs. calendar year) such that time series may not be uniform. Some reported figures are estimates, some are derived. ART = assisted reproductive technology. Sources are listed following the tables.

Also see Historical international adoption statistics, United States and world.

Graphs of some of the tabulated data:


Table 1: Adoption and foster care statistics, United States, 1940-2016

yeartotal
adoptions
adoptions per 1000 live birthsadoptions, publicadoptions, int'ladoptions, private domesticadoptions, non-relativesoutgoing int'l adoptionschildren in foster carefoster children per 1000 childrenchildren entering foster carechildren exiting foster carechildren waiting for adoptionsame, as % of foster childrenchildren for whom parental rights were terminated
1940              
1941              
1942              
1943              
194450,00017.0            
1945   1,300          
1946              
1947              
1948   4,100          
1949              
1950       98,0822.11     
195172,00018.8   33,800        
1952              
1953   4,300          
1954              
195593,00022.7   48,400        
1956              
195791,00021.2 10,900 48,200        
195896,00022.6   50,900        
1959102,00023.8   54,100        
1960107,00025.1   57,800 234,0003.67     
1961114,00026.7   61,600 163,0002.48     
1962121,00029.0 400 62,900 272,0004.05     
1963127,00031.0 1,300 67,300        
1964135,00033.5 1,700 71,600        
1965142,00037.8 1,400 76,700        
1966152,00042.1 1,700 80,600        
1967158,00044.9 2,000 83,700 309,0004.42     
1968166,00047.4 1,600 86,300        
1969171,00047.5 2,100 88,900        
1970175,00046.9 2,300 89,200        
1971169,00047.5 2,800 82,800        
1972153,00047.0 3,100 67,300 319,8004.55     
1973148,00047.2 4,323 59,200        
1974138,00043.7 5,446 49,700        
1975129,00041.0 6,290 47,700        
1976   7,051 50,000        
1977   6,854 47,000 502,0007.71     
1978   5,652 44,000        
1979   4,864 46,000        
1980   5,139 42,000 302,0004.83     
1981   4,868 43,000        
1982147,61040.123,0005,749116,00056,469 262,0004.20     
1983  20,0007,127 44,000 269,0004.32     
1984  19,0008,327 48,000 276,0004.44     
1985  18,0009,286 43,000 276,0004.42     
1986114,03330.418,0009,94582,00061,102 280,0004.46     
1987118,44931.119,00010,09789,000  300,0004.77     
1988  19,0009,120   340,0005.38     
1989121,58630.116,0007,94898,000  378,4665.95     
1990118,13828.416,2117,09394,834  405,7436.33214,488186,77919,9184.9 
1991118,73028.916,6809,00893,042  423,2836.50247,378227,71820,6864.9 
1992126,95131.118,7256,536101,69062,242 436,2346.61221,699202,78023,1045.3 
1993  19,6867,348  47444,1686.64224,555211,04624,2415.5 
1994  21,3068,195  84465,8206.70262,937226,57738,7128.3 
1995  22,0009,679  94483,0006.88     
1996119,77930.628,00011,31676,00065,80892507,0007.15     
1997  31,00013,620  88516,0007.27     
1998  36,65015,774  78559,0007.83299,000257,000125,00022.460,000
1999  46,58615,719  102567,0007.91293,000250,000130,00022.972,000
2000128,07331.650,60018,85758,616 78552,0007.67293,000272,000131,00023.773,000
2001140,03434.850,86319,64769,524 65545,0007.57296,000269,000129,00023.766,000
2002151,73637.752,54621,46777,72397,48053533,0007.37294,978278,454133,89425.167,000
2003  50,36221,654  74520,0007.12289,415278,443130,63725.167,000
2004  51,01922,991  126517,0007.06298,087280,674130,35225.265,000
2005146,17235.351,62922,73471,809 169513,0006.98307,173287,074130,66725.566,000
2006131,50330.850,64720,68060,176 178510,0006.92304,872295,038135,35626.579,000
2007153,34535.552,67719,60863,77596,097178491,0006.66293,233294,959133,68027.281,000
2008139,64732.955,23617,45663,094 287463,7926.34280,423288,778125,71227.175,000
2009131,14931.857,18512,74461,220 317420,4155.66255,027278,252114,71127.369,947
2010123,67130.953,52511,05859,088 205405,3305.57255,278257,431109,54427.064,084
2011121,55530.750,9139,31961,323 73397,6055.33251,450247,543106,44026.861,904
2012119,51430.252,0258,66858,821 99397,3015.38251,354239,535101,93525.758,187
2013  50,8207,094  84401,2135.43254,712238,930104,38726.058,638
2014116,81429.350,6256,44159,74875,33796414,4295.62264,555237,554108,18926.161,070
2015  53,5495,648  93427,9105.81269,509243,060111,82026.162,378
2016   5,372  89       
yeartotal
adoptions
adoptions per 1000 live birthsadoptions, publicadoptions, int'ladoptions, private domesticadoptions, non-relativesoutgoing int'l adoptionschildren in foster carefoster children per 1000 childrenchildren entering foster carechildren exiting foster carechildren waiting for adoptionsame, as % of foster childrenchildren for whom parental rights were terminated

Table 2: Statistics related to child population, births, and child welfare, United States, 1940-2016

yearchildren, age 0-17children by living arrangementlive birthslive births to unmarried womenbirths to teens 15-19ART live birthsabortionschild abuse and neglect
with both parentswith one parentwith no parentsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of known pregnanciesall victimsrate per 1000 childrenphysical abusedeaths from abuse/neglect
number%number%numbervictimsrate per 1000 childrenvictimsrate per 1000000 children
194040,435,00034,404,00085.084,178,00010.331,852,0002,559,00089,5003.50300,74711.75  710.00      
1941      2,703,00095,7003.54316,68511.72  490.00      
1942      2,989,00095,5003.20341,31511.42  580.00      
1943      3,104,00098,1003.16343,55011.07  6970.02      
1944      2,939,000105,2003.58301,13010.25  7060.02      
1945      2,858,000117,4004.11280,9979.83  7040.02      
1946      3,411,000125,2003.67322,3819.45  8190.02      
1947      3,817,000131,9003.46425,84511.16  7490.02      
1948      3,637,000129,7003.57431,93311.88  160.00      
1949      3,649,000133,2003.65433,02811.87  6750.02      
195046,506,00040,365,00086.804,144,0008.911,998,0003,632,000141,6003.90419,53511.55  70.00      
195148,800,000     3,820,000146,5003.84443,87211.62  6790.02      
195250,500,000     3,909,000150,3003.84438,04611.21  5510.01      
195352,100,000     3,959,000160,8004.06455,87811.51  4900.01      
195453,900,000     4,071,000176,6004.34477,88011.74  4400.01      
195555,700,000     4,097,000183,3004.47484,09711.82  3280.01      
195657,500,000     4,210,000193,5004.60520,42212.36  3370.01      
195759,500,000     4,300,000201,7004.69550,21212.80  3360.01      
195861,300,000     4,246,000208,7004.92554,18413.05  3450.01      
195963,100,000     4,286,000220,6005.15571,04813.32  3570.01      
196063,727,00055,877,00087.685,829,0009.152,021,0004,257,850224,3005.27586,96613.79  2920.01      
196165,800,000     4,268,326240,2005.63601,72014.10  2920.01      
196267,100,000     4,167,362245,1005.88600,29814.40  2920.0110,0000.15    
196368,400,000     4,098,020259,4006.33586,45414.31  3900.01      
196469,700,000     4,027,490275,7006.85585,71014.54  8230.02      
196569,700,000     3,760,358291,2007.74590,89415.71  7940.02      
196669,900,000     3,606,274302,4008.39621,42617.23  1,0280.03      
196769,900,000     3,520,959318,1009.03596,44516.94  2,0610.06      
196870,326,00060,030,00085.368,332,00011.851,964,0003,501,564339,2009.69591,31216.89  6,3960.18      
196970,317,00059,857,00085.128,509,00012.101,951,0003,600,206360,80010.02604,65416.79  29,1060.80      
197070,213,00059,694,00085.028,438,00012.022,081,0003,731,386398,70010.69644,70817.28  195,0924.97      
197169,162,00058,606,00084.749,478,00013.702,171,0003,555,970401,40011.29627,94217.66  486,00412.02      
197270,255,00057,201,00081.429,634,00013.711,976,0003,258,411403,20012.37616,28018.91  586,89115.26      
197368,811,00055,807,00081.1010,093,00014.672,050,0003,136,965407,30012.98604,09619.26  744,61019.18      
197467,950,00054,561,00080.3010,489,00015.441,997,0003,159,958418,10013.23595,44918.84  898,57022.1460,0000.88    
197567,047,00053,072,00079.1611,245,00016.771,770,0003,144,198447,90014.25582,23818.52  1,034,17024.75      
197666,087,00052,101,00078.8411,121,00016.831,907,0003,167,788468,10014.78558,74417.64  1,179,30027.13      
197765,129,00050,735,00077.9011,311,00017.372,016,0003,326,632515,70015.50559,15416.81  1,316,70028.36      
197864,062,00049,132,00076.6911,710,00018.282,364,0003,333,279543,90016.32543,40716.30  1,409,60029.72      
197963,206,00048,295,00076.4111,528,00018.242,566,0003,494,398597,80017.11549,47215.72  1,497,67030.00      
198062,586,00047,955,00076.6212,314,00019.682,317,0003,612,258665,74718.43552,16115.29  1,553,89030.08      
198162,918,00048,040,00076.3512,619,00020.062,259,0003,629,238686,60518.92527,39214.53  1,577,34030.30      
198262,407,00046,797,00074.9913,701,00021.951,909,0003,680,537715,22719.43513,75813.96  1,573,92029.95      
198362,281,00046,632,00074.8714,006,00022.491,643,0003,638,933737,89320.28489,28613.45  1,575,00030.21      
198462,139,00046,555,00074.9214,024,00022.571,560,0003,669,141770,35521.00469,58212.80  1,577,18030.06      
198562,475,00046,149,00073.8714,635,00023.431,691,0003,760,561828,17422.02467,48512.432000.011,588,55029.70      
198662,763,00046,384,00073.9014,759,00023.521,620,0003,756,547878,47723.39461,90512.304000.011,574,00029.53      
198762,932,00046,009,00073.1115,071,00023.951,852,0003,809,394933,01324.49462,31212.141,7000.041,559,11029.04      
198863,179,00045,942,00072.7215,329,00024.261,908,0003,909,5101,005,29925.71478,35312.243,4000.091,590,75028.92      
198963,637,00046,549,00073.1515,493,00024.351,595,0004,040,9581,094,16927.08506,50312.534,7000.121,566,87027.94      
199064,137,00046,503,00072.5115,867,00024.741,767,0004,158,2121,165,38428.03521,82612.555,2000.131,608,62027.89860,57713.42    
199165,093,00046,658,00071.6816,624,00025.541,811,0004,110,9071,213,76929.53519,57712.647,1000.171,556,51027.46911,69014.01    
199265,965,00046,638,00070.7017,578,00026.651,749,0004,084,0001,224,87629.99505,41512.3810,6000.261,528,93027.24994,65515.08    
199366,893,00047,181,00070.5317,872,00026.721,840,0004,000,2401,240,17231.00501,09312.5311,3000.281,495,00027.211,026,33115.34    
199469,508,00048,084,00069.1818,591,00026.752,834,0003,952,7671,289,59232.63505,48812.7912,1000.311,423,00026.471,029,11814.81    
199570,254,00048,276,00068.7218,938,00026.963,040,0003,899,5891,253,97632.16499,87312.8216,5000.421,359,44025.85966,09113.75236,5143.3792513.2
199670,908,00048,224,00068.0119,752,00027.862,932,0003,914,9531,260,30632.19491,57712.5620,8400.531,365,70025.86955,78613.48224,6973.1789912.7
199770,983,00048,386,00068.1719,799,00027.892,798,0003,880,8941,257,44432.40483,22012.4524,7000.641,335,00025.59881,46412.42194,5122.7494213.3
199871,377,00048,642,00068.1519,777,00027.712,959,0003,941,5531,293,56732.82484,89512.3028,8730.731,319,00025.07903,39512.66195,8912.7491112.8
199971,703,00048,775,00068.0219,899,00027.753,029,0003,959,4171,308,56033.05476,05012.0230,6000.771,315,00024.93826,16211.52166,6262.3293713.1
200072,012,00049,795,00069.1519,220,00026.692,997,0004,058,8141,347,04333.19470,50611.5935,0250.861,313,00024.44883,00012.26167,7132.331,33018.5
200172,006,00049,792,00069.1519,250,00026.732,962,0004,025,9331,349,24933.51445,94411.0840,6871.011,291,00024.28905,00012.57168,5102.341,42019.7
200272,321,00049,666,00068.6719,770,00027.342,885,0004,021,7261,365,96633.96424,67010.5645,7511.141,269,00023.99897,00012.40167,1682.311,51020.9
200373,001,00049,903,00068.3620,093,00027.523,005,0004,089,9501,415,99534.62414,58010.1448,7561.191,250,00023.41893,00012.23164,6892.261,46020.0
200473,205,00049,603,00067.7620,474,00027.973,129,0004,112,0521,470,18935.75415,26210.1049,4581.201,222,10022.91872,08811.91152,2502.081,50020.5
200573,494,00049,481,00067.3320,722,00028.203,291,0004,138,3491,527,03436.90414,59310.0252,0411.261,206,20022.57899,00012.23144,1951.961,45019.7
200673,664,00049,661,00067.4220,619,00027.993,383,0004,265,5551,641,94638.49435,43610.2154,6561.281,242,20022.55796,79910.82142,0411.931,50020.4
200773,746,00049,999,00067.8021,201,00028.752,545,0004,317,1191,715,04739.73444,89910.3157,5691.331,209,64021.89690,8499.37136,3261.851,72023.3
200873,104,00051,785,00070.8419,501,00026.682,819,0004,247,6941,726,56640.65434,75810.2461,4261.451,212,35022.20704,7329.64122,3501.671,72023.5
200974,230,00051,835,00069.8319,415,00026.162,980,0004,130,6651,693,65841.00409,8029.9260,1901.461,151,60021.80693,5079.34123,5991.671,75023.6
201072,718,00051,823,00071.2719,855,00027.303,042,0003,999,3861,633,78540.85367,7529.2061,5641.541,102,70021.61688,2519.46121,3801.671,56321.5
201174,630,00051,456,00068.9520,264,00027.152,910,0003,953,5901,607,77340.67329,7728.3461,6101.561,058,50021.12676,5459.07118,8251.591,58021.2
201274,817,00050,267,00068.1020,915,00028.332,634,0003,952,8411,609,61940.72305,3887.7365,1791.651,011,00020.37680,1989.21124,5441.691,63022.1
201374,910,00050,646,00068.5220,531,00027.782,733,0003,957,5771,605,64340.57274,6416.9466,7061.69958,70019.50682,3079.23122,1591.651,55021.0
201473,692,00050,602,00068.6720,258,00027.492,833,0003,988,0761,604,87040.24249,0786.2570,3541.76926,20018.85702,2089.53119,5171.621,59021.6
201573,623,00050,966,00069.2319,757,00026.842,900,0003,978,4971,601,52740.25229,7155.7772,9131.83915,00018.70683,0009.28117,6451.601,67022.7
201673,745,00050,679,00068.7220,229,00027.432,836,0003,941,1091,565,93139.73209,4805.32  880,00018.25      
yearchildren, age 0-17children by living arrangementlive birthslive births to unmarried womenbirths to teens 15-19ART live birthsabortionschild abuse and neglect
with both parentswith one parentwith no parentsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of live birthsnumberas % of known pregnanciesall victimsrate per 1000 childrenphysical abusedeaths from abuse/neglect
number%number%numbervictimsrate per 1000 childrenvictimsrate per 1000000 children

Sources:


© 2012-2016, 2017 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 5 August 2017.
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