WV Sees Increase In Poverty

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The 2011 American Community Survey says West Virginia ranks the 10th highest in poverty and 12th highest in child poverty.

This all comes from information for the U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey.

The Mountain State has seen a .5 percent increase for people living in poverty from 2010 to 2011. The Parkersburg Metro Area, consisting of Vienna, Marietta and surrounding areas as well, has seen a .6 percent increase.

"On a quarterly basis we meet with Westbrook, DHHR, Peer Support and those other agencies that are helping those who are unemployed, get employed," explains Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell. "As a matter of fact we're starting to enter into a program where we'll hopefully be able to get some public bus passes to get people back and forth for new jobs. We've worked with that group for quite some time now and we're hoping for some progress to help these numbers decline."

The survey also tells us the Parkersburg Area's average household income is nearly one thousand dollars higher than the rest of the states at just over $39,000 a year.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy says education remains a strong shield against poverty. Only a four percent poverty rate for those with at least a bachelor's degree, compared to the 15 percent in poverty with high school diploma.The study also shows there is a nearly one in three chance of poverty for those who don't graduate high school.

The Basics:

WV 10th highest in poverty; 12th highest in child poverty
334,885 In WV living in poverty; 97,677 children in poverty

2010 West Virginians living in poverty: 18.1 %; Parkersburg Metro Area: 16 %
2011 West Virginians living in poverty: 18.6%; Parkersburg Metro Area: 16.6%

2011 Median Household income: $38,482; Parkersburg Metro Area $39,314 ($41,337 in 2010)

You can visit: www.wvpolicy.org for the WV Center for Budget and Policy.

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