New Michigan Kids Count data released: Child poverty down, graduation rates up

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 17:12:24-04

The most recent Kids Count Data from the Michigan League for Public Policy was released Thursday. It shows Michigan is fairing well in things like child poverty which has dropped over the last decade but still lacks in things like preschool enrollment and prenatal care.

The data is collected through reliable state and federal sources and is aimed to be used as a resource for public policymakers to better the lives of children in Michigan.

Some of the key highlights of the data include the decrease in child poverty.

From 2010 to 2022, Michigan saw a 28.2% decrease in child poverty. 82 Counties in Michigan saw that decrease as well, including Kent County which saw a 45.5% decrease and Ottawa County who saw a 53.8% decrease.

Child Poverty in Michigan 2010-2020

The data also organizes the data by different parts of the state as well. West Michigan overall fared incredibly well in decreasing child poverty with a drop of 53.9% compared to the state's drop of 28.2%.

Child Poverty in West Michigan and Michigan

On the education front, the percent of students graduating on time in Michigan is up 5% from 76% in 2010 to 81% in 2021.

Rate of Michigan students graduating on time up

The areas that need improvement include preschool enrollment which is down 0.8% statewide. Prenatal care for expecting mothers is also down 8.8%, which shows that mothers aren't getting the medical care they need before, during and after giving birth.

"Everything from when people might find out that they're pregnant in order to go to the doctor, and particularly rural communities have expressed that they don't always have access to a doctor within a reasonable driving distance, or it takes forever to actually get an appointment," Kids Count Michigan director Kelsey Perdue said.

Areas that need improving

Along with the release of the data the league releases recommendations of how to improve the lives of children in our state. Their main recommendation they have is to make some COVID-era policy changes permanent, like the Federal Child Tax Credit. They say those financial incentives helped lift 114,000 Michigan children out of poverty and benefited almost another 2 million kids.

You can read the full report here.