GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan is lagging in nearly every aspect of child well-being, according to newly released state rankings by the 2017 Kids Count report.
The report compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation is based on 2015 numbers.
Once again, Michigan ranked as one of the highest risk states in the country. The Great Lakes state ranked 32nd overall, finishing behind neighboring Minnesota (No. 4), Wisconsin (No. 12), Illinois (No. 19), Ohio (No. 24) and Indiana (No. 28).
Michigan ranked only slightly better for economic well-being, at 31st. In 2015, 22 percent of Michigan children lived in poverty, according to the report. The percentage of children living in high-poverty areas has remained level since 2009, at about 17 percent. The number of teenagers statewide who are not working or going to school was 7 percent – 2 percent lower than in 2010.
Michigan ranked 41st for education. The report found 71 percent of eighth-graders are falling behind in math, and the same percentage of fourth-graders are falling behind in reading. The number of young children not in school rose slightly since the previous report, to 54 percent. However, more Michigan high school students are graduating on time, with 20 percent of teens not getting their diploma right away.
There is a silver lining in Michigan when it comes to child health: A mere 3 percent of children in Michigan don’t have health coverage, which is 2 percent lower than the national average. The report also found fewer teenagers were abusing alcohol and drugs between 2013 and 2014, at 5 percent. Michigan ranked 17th nationally for child health.
Ottawa County was the top ranked Michigan county for child well-being, according to earlier numbers from the 2017 Kids Count report. More state and community-level data can be found at the Kids Count data center online.