MUNCIE — Delaware County has the highest percentage of children living in poverty in the state, according to a new report.
In 2015, 31.2 percent of children, ages 0-17, were living in poverty, according to the Kids Count in Indiana 2017 Data Book. The Indiana Youth Institute released the new version of the annual report in February.
That puts Delaware County higher than Indiana's average (20.4) and the national average (20.7).
The year before, Jay County had the highest percentage, at 35.2. Delaware County's percentage increased from 2014, and was the highest it had been in five years.
"Any time you see those types of numbers impacting your children, it's very disturbing," Mayor Dennis Tyler told The Star Press. "My concern is, if those children are living in poverty, wouldn't you think their parents are, too?"
Tyler had already seen the figures when The Star Press asked for his comment last week, but he said he hadn't had a chance to do research it deeply, and still intended to. There are "a lot of factors" he needs to try to understand, he said.
One problem Tyler said he's heard consistently is that businesses aren't able to find local people with the skills to fill job openings.