State ranks low in Kids Count Data Book
The recently released 2011 Kids Count Data Book ranks West Virginia 44 out of 50 in the overall well-being of its children. This ranking is down one point from 2010.
The Kids Count project tracks the progress and well-being of children at the national, state and county levels. The project utilizes 10 key indicators to determine each stateﾒs ranking. The study documents birth-weight, mortality rates, poverty, and education of children ages infant to 19.
Data for the 10 indicators was compiled from 2007 to 2010. According to these indicators, West Virginia has improved in four areas, declined in three and stayed the same in three.
The data is as follows:
The rate of babies born with a low birth-weight, less than five-and-a-half pounds, was nine-and-a-half percent. The state was ranked 45, one point higher than 2010.
Ranked one point higher at 44, the state had 35 percent of children living in families with parents that did not have full-time, year-round employment.
Moving up two points to 41, the state had 24 percent of children living in poverty, based on an income below $21,756 for a family of two adults and two children.
Rising to 22 from 29, the state showed 32 percent of children living in single parent families.
The infant mortality rate was seven-and-a-half deaths per 1,000 live births, ranking the state at 31.
Remaining at rank 42, the state had a rate of 24 per 100,000 death rate among children ages one-to-14.
Ranked at 30 again this year, the state had 70 per 100,000 teen death rate among teenagers 15-19.
The teen birth rate was recorded as 49 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19. The state was ranked at 35 nationally.
Dropping dramatically from 36 to 47, the percent of teens not in school and not high school graduates, ages 16-19, was nine percent.
Another drop was in percent of teens, ages 16 to 19, not attending school and not working. Going from a 39 rank to 50, the state was recorded at 15 percent.
Along with the national Kids Count Data Book, each state releases a more detailed book that ranks each county. The 2011 West Virginia Data Book was released March 2011.
Of the 55 counties, Pocahontas ranked 35 overall. The state utilizes a different set of indicators to determine the rank of each county. The data was collected in 2008 and is compared to the data from 2000.
Pocahontas County data:
Babies born with a low birth-weight, less than five-and-a-half pounds was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in 2000.
Infant mortality rate, per 1,000 live births was 15.5 percent, up from 13.5 percent in 2000.
Child death rate, ages one-to-14, per 100,000 children was 15.9 percent, down from 40.3 percent in 2000.
Percentage of children ages three to four eligible for service through Head Start was 50.6 percent, up from 31.9 percent in 2000.
Sixty-three-and-a-half percent of children, grades kindergarten through 12, were approved for free and reduced school lunches, up from 56.2 percent in 2000.
Teen birth rate, ages 15-19 per 1,000 females was 41.7 percent, down from 63.6 percent in 2000.
Percent of births to unmarried teens, ages 10 through 19, was 9.5 percent, down from 11 percent in 2000.
High school dropouts were down from 16.5 percent in 2000, to 12.3 percent.
The percent of children in poverty was 25.2 percent, up from 24.6 percent in 2000.
The percent of births to mothers with less than a 12th grade education was down from 22.6 percent in 2000, to 20.9 percent.