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Expand chart
Data: National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Nearly 10% of children in the U.S. lived with someone who was mentally ill or severely depressed, data released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics show.

The big picture: The datapoint from 2019 was part of a larger effort to understand the number of children with different racial and ethnic backgrounds who are exposed to violence, parental incarceration or have lived with someone with mental health, alcohol or drug problems.

  • The study surveyed sociodemographic disparities in stressful life events as reported by a knowledgeable adult among children 5-17 years old.

Why it matters: Stressful life events in various forms of abuse, neglect and household instability can have lifelong impacts on a child's physical and mental health, the authors write.

  • Separately, health experts and government officials fear many U.S. adults and youth are experiencing exacerbated mental health crises or substance abuse during the pandemic and are scrambling how to best address their needs.

By the numbers: The percentage of children reported to have lived with someone who was mentally ill or severely depressed or had lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem was highest among white children.

  • 12.5% of white children lived with someone who was mentally ill or severely depressed, higher than the average, compared with Black and Hispanic children each at about 7%.
  • Nearly 7% of children were victims of or witnessed violence in their neighborhood. Black children were exposed more at almost 10%.
  • Nearly 10% of children overall had lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem, the survey showed, which tended to increase with age and those based in rural areas. Almost 12.5% of white children were exposed versus only 4% of Black children.

Go deeper

Ohio youth sports (slowly) rebounding

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Health concerns from area families are keeping some children from participating in youth sports, even as recreation departments return to their pre-pandemic league schedules.

Why it matters: The pause in youth sports during the pandemic may have lasting effects on participation rates here and across the country.

  • There may also be deeper implications on children's physical and mental health, research shows.

Justice Department to investigate Texas juvenile detention centers

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it would open an investigation into the conditions in five juvenile correctional facilities in Texas, citing reports of physical and sexual abuse.

Driving the news: The department has investigated a number of states over their treatment of juveniles because "protecting the rights of children throughout the juvenile justice system is a top priority," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Facebook paying up to $14M to settle employment discrimination claims

Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against American workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The settlement represents the largest civil penalty and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.