GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The new Kids Count Data Book released Wednesday showed pandemic-era policies helped reduce poverty among kids in Michigan by 15%.

“Poverty fell for both children and young adults throughout the state,” Anne Kuhnen, the Kids Count policy director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, said. “For children, we saw a child poverty decline by 15% and that was true in the majority of counties across the state. And young adult poverty actually declined by 25%.”

The nonpartisan MLPP runs the annual study, which looks into factors and trends affecting kids’ quality of life. The data book cited federal relief payments and the temporary advance Child Tax Credit as reasons for the positive trend.

“Food assistance benefits, monthly food assistance for families was increased and it was actually increased slightly more for families with children,” Kuhnen said. “So that came to an end earlier this year, which is why it was really important that Michigan took that step of making sure kids are getting those nutritious meals at school, especially as we saw the at home food benefits declining.”

The federal incentive helped keep 133,000 Michigan families out of poverty, according to Kuhnan.

“One of the things that we really see in the report is how effective certain policies can be in helping families and kids and alleviating hardship during what was otherwise a pretty distressing time for a lot of people,” she said.

The data also showed that reading proficiency for third graders continues to decline. Kuhnen said that was likely in part due to hybrid learning, but also reflects a long-running trend in Michigan.

To see a breakdown of your specific county and more collected data, click here.