Educational attainment is an important statistic because it can play into other statistics like literacy, unemployment, and average personal income. We know if Wayne County can increase the percent of our population, age 25 to 64, that has an associate's degree or higher, we can also improve in several other categories. We have a dedicated coalition that is focused on developing and upskilling our talent and connecting our residents to new job opportunities.
Reducing our poverty rates is critical for our residents and the future of Wayne County. Those living in lower socioeconomic status are associated with a variety of health risks that include, higher rates of cancer, diabetes, asthma, mental illness, and more. Additionally, poverty-stricken residents have a shorter life expectancy. The reality is poverty affects all aspects of a community, from our neighborhoods to the businesses we can attract. We believe taking a multiple-pronged approach to address poverty is our best path forward.
Wayne County has been a steady population decline for 45 years and the work of Forward Wayne County to turn around the population decline. Our primary goal is to reverse population decline by attracting people to our county. We will do this by improving the quality of life for our current residents and future residents.