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Missoula Measures - Children, Youth & Families


Why this section?

Although most of these topics are also addressed in Health and Basic Needs, many feel an ultimate measure of how a community is doing is related to how well its children, youth and families are faring. In Missoula County, there are hundreds of organizations, agencies and programs providing programs to assist children and families. Many of these organizations use Measures information included below for the many grant proposals and reports that come out of our community.

graph percent of population under 19 by age group, Missoula, Montana, US 

US Census 


Number of children, by age (US Census):
Age Missoula Montana
< 5 6334 62,423
5 - 9 6007 60,765
10 - 14 5847 61,124
15 - 19 7827 66,724

Family Reading to Young Children

Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and correlates with literacy development and, later on, with achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school. Mother's education is consistently related to whether children are read to by a family member.

graph percent of children read to Montana and U.S. 2010



Family Structure and Children's Living Arrangements

The number of parents living with a child is generally linked to the amount and quality of human and economic resources available to that child. Children who live in a household with one parent are substantially more likely to have family incomes below the poverty line than are children who live in a household with two parents.

graph Missoula households with kids

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, March Current Population Survey.

Most children spend the majority of their childhood living with two parents; however, significant proportions of children have more diverse living arrangements. Information about the presence of parents and other adults in the family, such as the parent's unmarried partner, grandparents, and other relatives, is important for understanding children's social, economic, and developmental well-being.

In Missoula, in 2010, the US Census reported that 706 grandparents were living with and responsible for their grandchildren. 

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Related Websites

Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics - Snapshot of national trends in U.S. children's welfare, based on such factors as family structure, economic security, health status, access to health care, behavior, social environment and education".

Child Health USA - annual compilation of state and national data.

National Casey Family Foundation Kids Count report.

What is Missoula Measures?

Missoula Measures presents indicators and other data, background information, and pertinent links on scores of topics related to health and quality of life in Missoula County. This site grew out of a healthy community indicators project initiated by Missoula city and county government in 1997-1999. Contributors to original project.

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions please contact us.


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