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West Virginia

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In 2008, the population of West Virginia was 1.8 million, with just 21.4 percent of the population aged 18 or younger, placing it 48 among the 50 states. Poverty is a serious problem: 16.9 percent of state residents live below the poverty level (6th highest among U.S. states) and West Virginia ranks last in the United States in both per capita income ($29,537) and for the percentage of residents age 25 or older with a bachelor's degree or higher (17.3 percent). These factors are evident in relatively low levels of maternal and child health in the state.

Mothers Ranking Poorly on Risk Factors

Among the 26 states that report data to the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Assessment System, West Virginia mothers ranked poorly on many risk factors ...

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