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Report: 67% of Detroit's kids in poverty

A comment seems unnecessarily and maybe impossible.

By Karen Bouffard

Detroit— More children live in high-poverty neighborhoods in Detroit than in any of the nation's 50 largest cities, according to a new report.

Roughly 67 percent of Detroit children live in a neighborhood with concentrated poverty, according to the "Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities" from Kids Count. That's 10 percentage points more than the next worst city, Cleveland, where 57 percent of children live in high-poverty areas.

Michigan ranked 44th among the states for the number of children living in neighborhoods where 30 percent or more of the population is in poverty, defined as about $22,000 per year or less for a family of four.

Kids Count in Michigan Project Director Jane Zehnder-Merrell said children who live in neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty "struggle more with behavior and emotional problems, they are less likely to graduate, and they have reduced potential to be economically successful as adults."

There were 341,000 Michigan children in high-poverty communities in 2010, about 124,000 more than at the start of the decade, or a 57 percent increase.

The report, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, found the number of children in high-poverty neighborhoods nationwide increased from 9 percent to 11 percent over the past decade. About 8 million children, countrywide, live in areas with a high concentration of poverty.

The number of children living in such neighborhoods increased at a faster rate in Michigan than nationwide. Michigan's share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods climbed from 8 percent in 2000 to 14 percent between 2006 and 2010.


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How Michigan ranks

Michigan ranks 44th of the 50 states with 14 percent of its children in areas of concentrated poverty.
The national average is 11 percent, ranging from 1 percent in Wyoming to 23 percent in Mississippi.
In Michigan, 38 percent of poor children live in areas of concentrated poverty, compared with 29 percent nationally.

— Karen Bouffard
Detroit News





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