Kids Count: Child well-being slips in Michigan

Published On: Jan 31 2013 04:12:46 AM EST
Updated On: Jan 31 2013 06:51:05 AM EST

DETROIT -

According to the latest Kids Count in Michigan Data Book, child well-being has slipped across the state.

For the first time since 1992, when the first state data book was released, the report ranks counties on the overall status of child well-being using 13 out of 15 indicators. This provides a bigger picture of local child well-being and how the county compares with others.

Ottawa, Livingston and Clinton counties were ranked the best for overall child well-being while Clare, Roscommon and Lake counties were the last among the 82 counties ranked. Keweenaw County was not included in the rankings because it lacked data for most indicators.

"We clearly see a connection between higher-income communities and better outcomes for kids, but even in more affluent counties, child poverty and the need for food assistance jumped dramatically,’’ said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy. "No area of the state escaped worsening conditions for children when it comes to economic security."

Wayne County ranks 76th out of 82 counties

Wayne County ranked 76th of 82 counties for overall child well-being with No. 1 being the best ranking.

This is the first time since 1992, when the first state data book was released, that the report ranks counties on the overall status of child wellbeing using 13 of 15 indicators. This provides a bigger picture of local child wellbeing and how the county compares with others.

View: Wayne County Kids Count
View: Out Wayne County Kids Count
View: SE Michigan Kids Count
View: Detroit Kids Count

“We clearly see a connection between higher-income communities and better outcomes for kids, but even in more affluent counties, child poverty and the need for food assistance jumped dramatically,’’ said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy. “No area of the state escaped worsening conditions for children when it comes to economic security.”

Child poverty in Wayne County increased 19 percent over the trend period compared with a statewide jump of 28 percent. The rate of young children in the county qualifying for food assistance increased 17 percent, compared with a statewide increase of 55 percent.

The period covered in the book is generally 2005 to 2011. The rate of confirmed victims of abuse and neglect, linked to poverty, decreased by 3 percent in the county compared with a statewide increase of 28 percent.

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