The Annie E. Casey and WV Kids Count says the well-being of West Virginia's white children are the worst in the USA, while black children in the state are slightly above the national average.

In terms of national rankings, West Virginia's African-American children rank 32nd in the nation, and white children rank last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"Unfortunately, all children in West Virginia scored poorly on the Casey index," said Margie Hale, West Virginia KIDS COUNT's executive director.

"Therefore, we must do better by all children in West Virginia. We must invest in the things we know will improve their chances for success, including high-quality childcare programs and public supports that help lift working families out of poverty," Hale said.

The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child's success for each stage of life, from birth to adulthood. The indicators were chosen based on the goal that all children should grow up in economically successful families, live in supportive communities and meet developmental, health and educational milestones.

To compare results across the areas in the index, the indicators are grouped into four areas: early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context.

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