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Lansing — Michigan’s child poverty rate dropped over five years, but hundreds of thousands of kids — or one in five — are still living in poverty.

The annual Kids Count in Michigan Data Book released Tuesday by Michigan League for Public Policy reports about 416,000 of Michigan’s children lived in poverty in 2017. That was down from roughly 549,000 in 2012.

The study also finds a spike in child abuse and neglect, with confirmed cases up nearly 30 percent.

Michigan’s bottom-ranked counties for child well-being are Lake, Luce, Alcona, Schoolcraft and Muskegon. The top five are Livingston, Clinton, Ottawa, Oakland and Washtenaw.

Kids Count in Michigan project director Alicia Guevara Warren says the “alarming increase” in child abuse and neglect cases “underscores the urgency of the issues facing our kids.”

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