By Erica Kearns
The Kids Count data book is a national survey that annually assesses the well-being of children in all fifty states within the United States. The survey uses sixteen different indicators to rank the states, and each county within, from best to worst in the areas of overall child well-being as well as economic well-being, education, health, family and community.
West Virginia as a whole ranked 43rd overall, but the results for Clay County were even more dismal. Out of the fifty-five counties in the state, Clay finished last or close to last in many areas of concern. Our hometown county ranked 55th in per capita income, sedentary lifestyle, smokeless tobacco use and unemployment. In addition to those shocking numbers, Clay County also ranked 54th in family poverty, 53rd in teen pregnancy, 52nd in cancer cases, and 54th in adult literacy. These statistics are alarming and unacceptable for the citizens living in this community. Through the implementation of jobs, community involvement and rehabilitation programs, changes can be made to improve these statistics and bring our county to the top of the list.