NEW YORK (AP) - Fears that persisting economic woes would increase child abuse in the U.S. have proved unfounded, according to the latest federal data.
A comprehensive new report shows overall abuse and neglect figures declining slightly between 2008 and 2010, and child fatalities dropping by 8.5 percent during that span.
The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services said the number of victimized children dropped from 716,000 in 2008 to 695,000 in 2010. That's down from 825,000 in 2006.
The rate of abuse was 10 per 1,000 children, down from 10.3 in 2008, to reach the lowest level since the current tracking system began in 1990.
The number of fatalities from abuse and neglect has dropped markedly - from an estimated 1,720 in 2008 to 1,560 last year.