Kids Count in Michigan

Courtesy Image / Kids Count/Annie E. Casey Foundation

State Child Poverty Up, Teen Deaths Down  

The annual Kids Count survey finds child poverty rates rising during 25 years of data-gathering while fewer teens are giving birth or dying.

The report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan ranks 32nd in overall child well-being nationally, down one slot since last year.

A new national report says only one in three children who started school in the late 1990's had the necessary cognitive skills by the third grade to go on to be successful adults.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the Director of the Kids Count in Michigan project. She explains that the study helps to chart the trajectory of kids' lives.

The report followed 13,000 kids who began kindergarten at the end of the 1990's. Children from lower-income families had the lowest rate of sufficient cognitive development.

Zehnder-Merrell says funding programs that support these families, such as cash assistance or food stamps, would positively affect these rates.