A state report that gauges the well-being of Michigan’s children shows St. Joseph County falls in the lowest third of all the counties in the state.
The annual Kids Count in Michigan report indicates St. Joseph County stands 58th of Michigan’s 82 counties. The study takes into account 15 indicators to determine child well-being.
From 2005 through 2011, the number of children living in poverty increased by 37 percent, more than the state average of 28 percent over the same period.
Another statistic from the study shows the county ranked 18th in babies born with low-birth weights. The report indicated more than 6 percent of St. Joseph County’s children are born with a low birth weight.
The county’s 17-and-under population is about 16,000 people.