Percent of children by state who have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can happen before a child turns 18 years old. Research shows that exposure to an ACE can lead to a higher risk of lifelong health problems like cancer, substance abuse, and obesity.

ACEs are defined by children’s interactions with one of more of the following factors prior to turning 18 years old: economic hardship, divorce or separation of a parent or guardian, alcohol or drug problem in the household, parent or guardian serving time in jail, living with someone with mental illness, domestic violence among parents, neighborhood violence, unfair treatment based on race or ethnicity, or death of a parent or guardian.

Below, data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health show the percentage of children nationwide who have experienced one or more ACE.

  • The lowest percentage nationally is Minnesota at 38 percent
  • The national average is 46 percent
  • The highest percentage nationally is Arkansas at 56 percent
StatePercentage of children with at least one adverse childhood experience
Alabama50.1
Alaska44.4
Arizona49.4
Arkansas55.8
California42.1
Colorado46.3
Connecticut42.2
Delaware48.3
District of Columbia47.1
Florida52
Georgia47.7
Hawaii43.2
Idaho50.9
Illinois39.8
Indiana47.3
Iowa43.8
Kansas45.1
Kentucky53.2
Louisiana53.6
Maine51.7
Maryland41
Massachusetts38.8
Michigan46.2
Minnesota38.1
Mississippi53.4
Missouri47.8
Montana50.7
Nebraska42.1
Nevada52.4
New Hampshire42.5
New Jersey41.4
New Mexico53.3
New York45.3
North Carolina49.6
North Dakota39.9
Ohio49.5
Oklahoma53.7
Oregon47.3
Pennsylvania47.1
Rhode Island45.8
South Carolina48.3
South Dakota45.6
Tennessee48.1
Texas49.8
Utah41
Vermont45
Virginia41.2
Washington42.5
West Virginia52.4
Wisconsin41.5
Wyoming46.7
Nationwide46.3

Created by: Counseling@NYU, which offers an online masters in school counseling from NYU Steinhardt

Source: 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services http://childhealthdata.org/learn/NSCH/data