Report Finds Kids of Color in Michigan still Fighting Poverty

A new report finds that fewer African American children in Michigan are living under the poverty line.

But the state’s poverty rate still far outpaces the national average…

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

The 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book from the Michigan League for Public Policy shows that child poverty in the state overall is improving.

Yet 42 percent of the state’s black children were still mired in poverty in 2016.

That compares with 48 percent in 2010.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported the national poverty rate for children in 2016 was 12.7 percent.

The Kids Count study also finds that almost a third of children in Michigan live in a family without full-time, year-round employment.

Researchers say that correlates with problems in education.

They find more than half of Michigan third-graders cannot read proficiently, a figure that jumps to about 70 percent for children of color.

Researchers recommend raising the age children are considered a juvenile from 17 to 18 years old.

They say that would keep more kids out of the adult prison system, where there are fewer educational opportunities and more chances to be assaulted or become a repeat offender.

The report also calls for increasing access to both child care and what it terms policies that promote work, like the Earned Income Tax Credit.   

Image credit: Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.

qklinefelter@wdet.org  

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