Michigan Kids Count Survey

Even with Michigan’s population declining, thousands more kids across the state are living in poverty now than in 2000.

The 2010 Michigan Kids Count survey has just come out.

It found that 19.3% of all Michigan kids live in poverty — nearly 1 in 5.

For the U.P., it’s 19.6%.

And about twice that many U.P. kids, 38%, are in families that can be considered working poor.

Paul Olson of the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development says most people don’t have any idea there are that many U.P. families who are struggling to meet their own needs but who aren’t destitute enough to be officially considered poor.

In 2000, 1 out of every 7 Michigan kids lived in poverty — about 14%.

So the situation can be seen as a byproduct of the state’s economic nosedive since the late ’90s.

The people behind the survey say state assistance programs, and tax programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, need to be protected in the budget process or even more Michigan kids will enter poverty.