GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new 2020-22 data report found that while child poverty in Michigan has decreased overall, the rate in Grand Rapids is more than double the state average.

The report comes from Kids Count, which is part of the Michigan League for Public Policy, a nonpartisan policy institute. It looks at trends at the state, county and some city levels, like Flint and Detroit. For the first year, MLPP was able to compile a report on Grand Rapids specifically.

The data profiles trends in four categories: Economic security, education, health and safety, family and community.

“The rate of child poverty has decreased nearly 17% statewide between 2010 and 2020. Child poverty rates declined in 82 counties over that same decade,” Monique Stanton, president and CEO of Michigan League for Public Policy, said at a Thursday press conference announcing the release of the report.

However, the second largest city in Michigan lags behind the trend. The data reports shows that 14,196 Grand Rapids children, or 33%, were living in poverty in 2020. Ten years earlier, 21,729 children, or almost 44%, were living in poverty.

While Grand Rapids saw a 24% decrease in child poverty over the decade, the state of Michigan experienced a 28% decrease. The statewide average in 2020 was 16%.

“The power of local data is that you get to know what’s happening right in your community,” Kelsey Perdue, project director for Kids Count in Michigan, said.

She said MLPP’s aim is to conduct nonpartisan data analysis and link it to policy recommendations to “do something about it.”

“Affordable, safe housing is key and we are in a housing crisis,” Perdue said.

Kelsey Perdue, director of Kids Count in Michigan (July 28, 2022)

She said 20% of Grand Rapids kids live in areas that are considered “high-poverty.”

“Which means they are at risk of having inequitable access to strong schools, quality jobs and robust medical institutions,” Perdue explained.

Kids Count collects data for its report through “a number of primary sources at the federal and state level,” said Perdue, specifically noting the U.S. Census Bureau and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“We’re really looking at reliable, consistent, valid data,” she said.

To view the complete report, visit kidscount.org.