(12/27/2002)
Calhoun County is ranked among the worst of West Virginia's 55 counties regarding the well-being of children, according to the latest Kid's Count survey.

The state of West Virginia presents a picture of improvement, but compared with most states, the indicators represent problems linked to the economy, education, access to services and other areas.

Calhoun did much better in some categories, likely because of the pro-active delivery of primary health services by Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center.

Calhoun ranked 48th overall, seventh from the bottom.

The statistics reflect twelve different areas of well-being, an in-depth study completed by the Kid's Count Fund and West Virginia University. The county shows improvement in five of the areas.

In five other areas, the county presents some disappointing statistics, including the percent of low birth-weight babies, child deaths, percent of children eligible for free and reduced priced school meals, percent of births to unmarried teens and the percent of births to mothers with less than a 12th grade education.

The county has seen a nearly 45% increase since 1990 in the number of births to unmarried teens between the ages of 10-19.

Nearly 30 percent of kids in Calhoun grow up in poor families, according to income guidelines.

The complete Kids Count report will be published in The Herald.


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