The latest Kids Count report from the Michigan League for Public Policy, released on Wednesday, April 29, details state and county statistics relative to child health, safety and education.
Kids Count in Michigan is part of a national network of state projects supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It is an effort to measure the well-being of children at state and local levels and use that information to shape efforts to improve the lives of children.
The report reveals that in Ionia County, child poverty is trending in a positive direction since 2010, but child abuse and neglect rates have increased since 2010.
Trends in Ionia County are similar to the state as a whole, which has seen 80 counties experience a decrease in child poverty and 64 counties have an increase in confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect.
Ionia County’s percentage of children in poverty dropped nearly 10 percent from 2010 to current data. The report shows the county at 12.4 percent, down from 21 percent in 2010. The current rate is better than the state rate of 19.3 percent.
The rate of young adults — ages 18 to 26 — in poverty also decreased, from 24.7 percent to 19 percent. However, the percentage of households in poverty or ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) status increased from 39.6 percent to 43.3 percent, slightly higher than the statewide rate of 42.3 percent.Untitled infographic
While poverty numbers are trending mostly positively, child abuse/neglect rates have increased since 2010. The statistics for these areas are measured in rate per 1,000 children.
Ionia County’s rate of children in investigated families rose from 107.2 to 183.3 per 1,000. This is higher than the state rate of 120. The rate of confirmed victims also rose slightly from 25.6 to 27, higher than the state rate of 18.5.
Ionia County’s rate of children in out-of-home care is identical to the 2010 data at 4.6 per 1,000.
The report included several education related statistics as well, including third grade reading proficiency, eighth grade math proficiency and students graduating on time.
In Ionia County, rates were not much different than state average, with some categories higher than the state mark and some below. The county had a 43.4 percent third grade reading proficiency, down from 51.3 in 2010 and below the state average of 45.1. Math proficiency in eighth grade went up from 28.2 to 36.3 percent, higher than the 32.7 percent state average. According to the report, 84.2 percent of Ionia County students graduated on time, slightly higher than the state mark of 81.4 and up from 82.6 percent in 2010.
From 2010 to 2018, Ionia County’s child population dropped from 15,675 to 14,277, a decrease of 8.9 percent.
To view full reports on individual counties and the state as a whole, visit the Michigan League for Public Policy website at www.mlpp.org.
— Contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelMitch.