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Data points to increased poverty in county

Staff writer

An abundance of children receiving health care options for low-income families is a concern for Families and Communities Together Coordinator Linda Ogden.

According to the 2011 Kids Count data, 583 children in Marion County were enrolled in Medicaid and an additional 189 children were enrolled in the Community Health Improvement Program; the figures were compiled in 2010. While Ogden was providing some leeway for the method of data collection, the trend is alarming as an indication of poverty and the effect of the down economy on the county.

“I just think there’s that many poor kids,” Ogden said. “The per capita income usually looks really poor in terms of the rest of the state.”

According to Kids Count, Marion County’s median household income is $42,039. Ogden said the top earners in the county are skewing that number high.

The Kids Count data states that 14 percent of Marion County children live below 100 percent poverty, which is below state and peer county averages. Forty-four percent of Marion County students receive free or reduced priced lunches, also below the state and peer county averages.

Numbers that were high for Marion County were the infant mortality and teen violent death. Infant mortality is recorded in terms of number of deaths per 1,000 live births. The figure is from 2009 at 45.87 but is skewed by Marion County’s small population.

Last modified Jan. 5, 2012

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