Report: Childhood Poverty High In Detroit, But Teen Pregnancy Down

DETROIT (WWJ) A new report from Data Driven Detroit reveals that in spite of the many families with kids that left Detroit between 2000 and 2010 — much of the city’s population still consists of children living in poverty.

Sixty percent of children in Detroit live in poverty, per the “State of Detroit” report.  This represents a 64.7 percent increase in child poverty in the city since 1999. Children account for 194,347 of Detroit’s residents, or 27 percent of the city’s total population.

Despite the poverty rate, the report also shows that there are some positive changes taking place in the city, according to the data firm’s director Kurt Metzger. It shows a significant decrease in the number of teen pregnancies.

“Much more actual education in schools, much more open discussions, I think there’s been a lot more effort around that not only in Detroit Public Schools, but also nationally we’re starting to see those numbers go down,” Metzger said.

Another good note: The report shows more women are getting prenatal care, Metzger said. Overall, there was a 9.2 percent decrease in the number of births to teen mothers, and an 11.5 percent increase in the number of mothers who sought and received appropriate prenatal care.

“Another positive outcome was the decreasing rate of children testing positive for elevated blood lead levels, down more than 75 percent across all age group between 2001 and 2010,” the report found.

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