Michigan ranks in the middle for children’s well-being

By Sherri Begin Welch
Crain’s Detroit

Michigan remained No. 27 among the states in the annual Kids Count study on child well-being, a ranking the state has held for the past four years.

The report produced by the Annie Casey Foundation in Baltimore looks at 10 indicators of child well-being as part of a national study.

The Lansing-based Michigan League for Human Services analyzes the report for Michigan data and works with Lansing-based Michigan’s Children to distribute that information statewide, with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Detroit-based Skillman Foundation, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and the Michigan Association of United Ways.

While Michigan’s overall ranking did not change, the state improved in six of the ten metrics: teen birth rates; death rates; high school dropouts; percentage of idle teens who aren’t in school or working; infant mortality for children under age 1; and child death rate for those ages 1 to 14, said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, senior research associate at the Michigan League for Human Services.

Michigan’s rating in three other areas worsened in: the percentage of low-birth weight babies; children living in homes where neither parent has full-time employment; and the number of children living in households below the federal poverty line.

One indicator for Michigan remained unchanged. That was the percentage of children in single-parent families.

The full national report with Michigan breakouts is available at www.kidscount.org

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