Substantiated Maltreatment by State

Victims per 1,000 Children

Data Highlights

Unit: Victims per 1,000 Children

Highest Rate (2014)

Massachusetts: 25

Lowest Rate (2014)

Pennsylvania: 1.2


This graph shows victims of substantiated maltreatment per 1,000 children for all 50 states for each year since 2004.

Questions this graphs answers

  • Which states have had the highest and lowest rates of child maltreatment?

  • How has my state compared to other states for child maltreatment?

See also

  • Placement Rate by Prior Placement, to see how much more likely an out-of-home placement is in Washington State for a household with a prior history of out-of-home care.


Precise definitions of maltreatment vary from state to state, as do the child welfare systems that investigate them. For example,

  • In Washington State, a substantiated allegation of maltreatment is not necessary for a child to be placed in out-of-home care; rather, a decision to place a child is based on whether or not there is an ongoing risk of harm.

  • In California, a substantiated allegation of maltreatment is necessary for a child to be placed in out-of-home care.

For each year, these data count the number of unique victims of substantiated child maltreatment, not the number of substantiated incidents of maltreatment. If a child was a substantiated victim several times in a year, they will have only been counted once. If a substantiated incident of maltreatment had multiple victims, each victim will have been counted.

The visualization was adapted from and inspired by Nathan Yau's visualization of life expectancy by country.

Data source

These data comes from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) Child File, which is part of Cornell University's National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) and the US Census Bureau, via the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center.

The collector of the original data, the funding agency, NDACAN, Cornell University, and the agents or employees of these institutions bear no responsibility for analyses or interpretations presented here.


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