Survey shows slight decline in number of Michigan children living in poverty

Published: Apr. 17, 2018 at 1:38 PM EDT
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(4/17/2018) - The number of Michigan children living in poverty is on the decline, according to a study by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The annual report was discussed this morning during a gathering at EduCare Flint.

It looks at health, education, economic security and family and community as part of an effort to improve conditions for children and their families.

This year, it revealed that more than 1 in 5 children in Michigan lived in poverty in 2016. That's down slightly from 23 percent of children living with economic strains in 2010.

However, 42 percent of African-American children and 30 percent of Latino kids are living through tough times.

Counties in Mid-Michigan ranked near the bottom. Clare County was near the worst at 81 out of 82 counties included in the study, followed by Iosco County at 75th and Genesee County at 71st.

The survey also found 31 percent of children in Michigan lived in families without year-round, full-time employment.

"When we think about the quality early learning initiative and how that impacts the child's ability to be successful in school and what that ultimately does for their ability to be successful in life, it's profound," said Ja'Nel Jamerson, director of the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network.

The report recommends strengthening policies that allow families to keep more of what they earn, ensure access to affordable, high-quality child care and provide early interventions to improve third-grade reading.

"This data helps us see from the earliest points where we need to make a difference in order to change those life outcomes for the most vulnerable children in our communities," Jamerson said.