LANSING, Mich.– The latest findings in the 2013 Kids Count Report shows more Michigan children are growing up in families struggling to make ends meet.
The numbers show that, while the recession ended years ago, children are still feeling the impact. More kids need help with food programs and more kids are living in homes that have been investigated for abuse and neglect.
The report shows Kent County with about 20% of kids living in poverty in 2011. That’s a 24% jump since 2005.
In Muskegon County, 29% of kids were living in poverty in 2011. That’s a 33% increase in six years.
And in Kalamazoo County, 22% of children were living in poverty in 2011; a 33% jump in the same time span.
But there is some good news. The biggest improvement state-wide was the drop in the number of kids living out-of-home. Education is shown to be improving for Michigan as a whole.
The report looked at 4th grade reading level and 8th grade math between the years of 2008 and 2012.
In Kent and Muskegon Counties, 4th grade reading improved 23%. Kalamazoo saw a 20% improvement. However, 8th grade math rates stayed about the same or slightly lower those counties.
To look at how your county did more specifically, click here.
The report makes recommendations on how to improve these conditions, such as raising minimum wage and focusing on early childhood development.