Data shows Michigan ranks poorly when it comes to child well-being

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

This is the 25th edition of The KIDS COUNT Data Book which provides information on a child's well-being in each state according to economic security, health, family and community and education. The Data Book also provides policy recommendations to lawmakers for improving the well-being of children. The Michigan edition is distributed by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

According to the report, Michigan's worst ranking among the Great Lakes states is in education at 38 percent. The state fell six slots with it ranked "poorly" in fourth-grade reading, eighth-grade math and on-time graduation. The League recommends ensuring that students are reading by the end of the third grade.

Michigan's drop in education could be attributed to the 39 percent increase in children living in poverty. That means one in every four children is living in poverty and one in every three children lives in a household where housing costs consume 30 percent or more of the household income.

To improve the status of Michigan children, the League recommends reinstating the Earned Income Tax Credit, investing in early childhood, and raising the minimum wage.

There was some good news. Fewer Michigan teens are having babies than 25 years ago and fewer children and teens are dying each year than in 1990. 

The Annie B. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. Since 1948, the Foundation provides grants that help federal agencies, states, counties, cities and neighborhoods.