KIDS COUNT: Child poverty a growing problem in W.Va.

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KIDS COUNT: Child poverty a growing problem in W.Va.
By WV MetroNews Staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There are 13,000 more West Virginia children living in poverty than there were in 2008, according to the newly released KIDS COUNT data book.

Margie Hale, the Executive Director of KIDS COUNT said the povery statistics among children are alarming.

“We learned from the 2015 data book that 100,000 children are living in poverty in West Virginia,” she said. “That’s more than 1 in 4 kids.”

The book also ranked West Virginia 43rd worst in the country for child well-being, which was down from last year’s ranking of 37th. The number of children living in poverty had risen by almost 15 pecent from 2008. Hale said that there were some positives from the report.

“The percentage of West Virginia children lacking health insurance has fallen to 5 percent down from 7 percent. And also, there were improvements in math proficiency,” she said.

Hale suggested in a statement to raise the state minimum wage, and to implement policies such as a state earned income credit, paid sick leave and childcare support.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on trends in child well-being in the post-recession years in four different categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.