KIDS COUNT

2019 National Data Book

The 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book marks the 30th anniversary of the national data book. Since the first report was released in 1990, Michigan has improved in many areas of child well-being. Unfortunately, the rates of child poverty remain about the same, and kids living in high-poverty neighborhoods and low birth weight babies are worse today.

Michigan ranks 32nd overall nationally, and has the worst ranking in the Great Lakes region. In the four domains, Michigan ranks:

  • 30th in economic well-being;
  • 37th in education;
  • 29th in the family and community; and
  • 18th in health.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation points to areas of tremendous improvement in children’s lives since 1990—including access to health care, decreased rates of teen childbearing and increased rates of high school graduation—and draws a direct line to policies that support this success. To further improve child well-being, the Casey Foundation calls on elected officials and representatives to:

  • Expand the programs that make and keep kids healthy. For the sake of all children, regardless of their immigration status, states should ensure access to public health programs and expand coverage to lawfully residing immigrant children and pregnant mothers as allowed under Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), which is outlined in the League’s Owner’s Manual for Michigan. The Trump administration should abandon efforts to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, and Michigan should closely monitor the adverse impact on kids and families of Healthy Michigan Plan work requirements coming next year.
  • Provide the tools proven to help families lift themselves up economically. Federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit programs mean working parents can use more of their take-home pay to meet their children’s needs. Modernizing the state EITC could expand its reach to help more youth and other adults without children.
  • Address ethnic and racial inequities. The national averages of child well-being can mask the reality that black and brown children still face a greater number of obstacles.
  • Count all kids. Ensure the 2020 census counts all children, especially those under 5 years old and from hard-to-count areas.
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