That's the finding in 'Opening Doors for Young Parents,' the latest national KIDS COUNT policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Tuesday.
The fifty-state report reveals that, at 9 percent, Michigan is just under the national average (10 percent) of adults ages 18 to 24 who are also young parents.
The most common obstacles these young adult parents face, according to the report, include incomplete education, lack of family-sustaining employment opportunities, lack of access to quality child care, inadequate and unstable housing and financial insecurity.
“Our state’s young adult parents don’t get talked about much, but the future of our state is depending on them as workers and as parents,” said Alicia Guevara Warren, the program director for Kids Count in Michigan, at the Michigan League for Public Policy. “This group of parents faces the same challenges that all parents do, but they have added hurdles to education and economic security that state policymakers must address.”
The report highlights the following statewide trends and areas of concern:
-100,000 children in Michigan have young parents ages 18 to 24.
-73 percent of children of young parents in Michigan live in families with low incomes,which is above the national average.
-Only 9 percent of young parents ages 18 to 24 have completed an associate degree or higher.
-35 percent of Michigan’s young parents are people of color, facing challenges exacerbated by discrimination and systemic inequities, with their children standing to suffer the most.