Census data shows MI poverty rate not improving

Dec 7, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released economic data covering 2014. One Lansing policy analyst says it shows recent improvement in some key benchmarks, including median household income. We talk with Peter Ruark, a policy analyst from the Michigan League for Public Policy.


The U.S. Census Bureau released data last week that offers a look at how Michigan is faring in fighting poverty. It contains year to year data involving median income, the poverty rate and other benchmarks. It’s also the first time the bureau has released data covering consecutive five year periods.

It suggests the past five years have indeed seen a significant economic recovery in Michigan since the depths of the “Great Recession,” but still not enough to compensate for the deterioration from 2005 through 2009.

Current State talks with Peter Ruark, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy based in Lansing. On its website, the league describes itself as a non-partisan policy institute dedicated to economic opportunity for all. It claims to be the only state-level organization “that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way” and “through a race equity lens.”