Kentucky is a predominantly rural state in the southeastern United States. According to the 2000 Census, Kentucky had a population of just over 4 million, with about 44 percent of the population in rural counties. Ninety percent of women in Kentucky are non-Hispanic white. Median age is 35.9, and life expectancy is 75.2, almost 3 years less than the national average. Kentucky is socially conservative and church activities play a significant role in community and family life.

Kentucky mothers face significant economic, educational, and public health challenges. It has a higher family poverty rate than the U.S. average—13.1 versus 9.8 percent—and ranks 6th in the percentage of children living below the poverty level (23.9 percent). The median per capita income (2005) is below the national average ...

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