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Report: More Michigan kids living in poverty now than during the Great Recession

Jul 21, 2015

The Annie E. Casey Foundation says more children in Michigan are growing up in poverty now than during the Great Recession.
Credit Guian Bolisay / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new report says more children in Michigan are growing up in low-income households now than during the Great Recession, even though the state's unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in a decade.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, nearly one in four Michigan children live in poverty, compared to one in five in 2008.

Laura Speer with the Annie E. Casey Foundation said many families have yet to benefit from post-recession economic recovery.

"Those families that may be working, that may have been able to get a job are getting jobs that are relatively low-paid," Speer said.

The numbers are especially bleak for children of color. Almost a third of the state's Latino children and almost half of African-American children are living in poverty.

Speer said children growing up in low-income households could mean long-term ripple effects for the nation's economy.

"Children who grow up in poverty, especially when they're exposed to very low incomes for a long period of time, have trouble in school, they're less likely to graduate from high school," she said. "We really need every child to be able to achieve their full potential in our country."

Speer said the best way to boost the economic well-being of children is by boosting policies and programs that help parents, including paid sick leave regulations and the state's Earned Income Tax Credit. 

This is the second year in a row Michigan has fallen behind when it comes to overall child well-being.