Report: 1M Michigan children lived in poverty in 2019

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A new report provides a statistic on children growing up in financial hardship in Michigan.

The Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) on Monday, April 4, released the first report of its new 2022 ALICE in Focus Series.

The report found nearly 1 million, or 44%, of children in Michigan lived in a household with income below the ALICE — asset limited, income constrained, employed — threshold of financial survival in 2019. Of that 44%, 17% lived under the federal poverty level (FPL) and 27% earned above the FPL but did not earn enough to afford essentials such as housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

Mike Larson. Courtesy Michigan Association of United Ways

“The 2021 release of our fourth ALICE report continues to inform the conversation about the real and present needs across our state, and our new ALICE in Focus Series will only help us further understand how we can best address today’s critical issues surrounding ALICE children,” said Mike Larson, president and CEO of MAUW.

The report indicates the biggest factor in a child’s financial stability is the employment status of household members, though two working adults doesn’t guarantee stability. According to the report, 23% of Michigan children live in households with two adults in the labor force, yet still are below the ALICE threshold.

Specific resources these children lack include stable housing, education enrollment, health insurance and home internet.

“Although there is much work to do, we remain resilient and committed to serving ALICE families through supporting programs and advocating for public policies that strive to improve the health, education and financial stability of all Michigan households and communities,” Larson said.

The full Focus Series is set to feature three reports, each focusing on a different demographic group within Michigan’s ALICE populations: children, people with disabilities and veterans.

The 2022 ALICE in Focus Series is supported by the Consumers Energy Foundation.

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