Poor in Michigan?
Compiled by Jan Smith and Ann Dezwarte of the W.E. Upjohn Institute
for Employment Research.
- 14% of the Kalamazoo-St. Joseph County population lives in
- 26% of the State’s children live with parents who do
not have full-time year-round employment.
- About 8.5 million people living in poverty are among the working
poor. Most of them (56%) live in families with children. Over
the past two decades, the poverty rate among working families
has increased by nearly 50%.
- The US government recommends spending no more than 30% of household
income on rent in order to maintain economic stability. In Michigan
56% of low-income households with children had housing costs that
exceeded 30% of household income.
- Federal government spending on housing assistance is less than
half of the amount spent 25 years ago.
- On average nationally, a household needs to earn $14.66 an
hour to afford fair market rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
- The minimum wage set by the US government is $5.15 an hour.
A person working for minimum wage in a fulltime job falls 28%
below the poverty level for one ($8,980) set by the US government.
- Women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. This results
in an average annual loss of $4,000 per US family.
- In Kalamazoo County the average per capita income is $25,522.
- Unemployment in Kalamazoo County for the month of October 2003
- Only 6% of families on welfare own a car. For many poor families,
transportation is one of the major barriers to employment.
- Family Independence Agency statistics for Kalamazoo County
for September 2003: 9,266 Food Stamps Cases, 18,641 Medical Assistance
Cases, 1,404 Child Day Care Cases.
- In the United States, 1% of the population owns 25% of the
Coltrane, S. & Collins, R. (2001). Sociology
of Marriage and Family (5th.ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Coontz, S. (2003). “What We Really Miss About
the 1950s.” In A. Skolnick and J. Skolnick (Eds.). Family
in Transition (12th.ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
US Census Bureau. United States Department of Commerce.
(2003), April 14).
National Center for Children in Poverty. www.nccp.org
(2003, April 14).
National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.
(2003, April 14).
Michigan Department of Career Development. 2003.
Annual Planning Information Report, Program Year
Michigan Department of Career Development, Office
of Labor Market Information.
Annie E. Casey Foundation. www.aecf.org/kidscount
(2003, December 3).
Michigan Department of Career Development. ESA Labor
Market Analysis Î South Central and Western Michigan.
Michigan Department of Career Development. (2003, October).
The work done by the following organizations in Kalamazoo
County is connected to the issues raised by Nickel and Dimed:
The following organizations in Kalamazoo County offer
services connected to the issues raised by Nickel and Dimed:
|Family Independence Agency of Kalamazoo County
|Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan
|Housing Resources, Inc.
|Kalamazoo County Community Action Bureau
|Kalamazoo Gospel Mission
|Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services
|Kalamazoo Poverty Initiative
|Loaves & Fishes
|Ministry with Community
|Next Door/Open Door Shelters
|Northside Association for Community Development
|Portage Community Outreach Center
|South County Community Services
|United Way of Greater Kalamazoo
|W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
For a complete listing of all the agencies providing services
to those in need, visit the Kalamazoo County Community Information
and Referral website at: