Families & Community
4:43 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

How does Michigan stack up when it comes to child well-being? Are you sure you want to know?

Credit User: Guillermo Ossa / Stockvault

The Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at statistics that should tell us something about how kids are faring across the country and in Michigan.  

The foundation looks at things like poverty, teen pregnancy and health insurance coverage to name a few.

If it seems like these reports are always coming out, well, that's partly true. The sheer number of indicators to analyze means that reports trickle out throughout the year. 

Update: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yesterday, we looked at 2012's statistics for Michigan.

This year's statistics were released today in a report called the national Kids Count Data Book, which tells us how Michigan stacks up against other states.

This year Michigan ranks 32. Last year, we were 31. Being the number one state in the country would mean Michigan is doing the best by its children, and being 50 would mean we are doing the worst. 

The state's performance this year on most of the indicators of child well-being didn't change much since 2012, but that doesn't mean the numbers aren't stunning. 

  • Over 25% of Michigan's kids lived in poverty. 
  • 70% of 8th graders weren't proficient in math. 
  • Michigan ranks 39th based on how kids do on test scores.
  • 69% of 4th graders weren't proficient in reading. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's take a look back and see what we can expect from last year:

All childhoods are not created equal in Michgian: Dustin Dwyer wrote in April how outcomes for African-American kids in Michigan are so low, only two states are doing worse: Mississippi and Wisconsin. 

The Great Recession's effects are taking a long time to wear off: Last December, Jennifer Guerra looked at Kids Count Data showing family economics are likely responsible for more abuse and neglect in homes across the state. 

Kids are under-educated: Another recent Kids Count report, this one from November, showed all across the country, only about a third of kids were reading at grade level by the 3rd grade. That's not a Michigan-specific number, but as a state we have been falling below the national average in education and child well-being for the last couple of years. 

These reports give states a ranking based on their child well-being data with number 1 being the best state and 50 being the worst. Last year Michigan was ranked 31st.

Judging from the data, since then it looks like a jump in the rankings would be unlikely. We'll see.