A recent report by Save the Children puts West Virginia in the bottom 28 percent of states when it comes to the safety and well-being of the children who live there. Factors that went into this research include teen pregnancy, child death, dropout rates and food insecurity, as well as vulnerability to COVID-19.

“This report uncovers an unacceptable reality in America: millions of poor and marginalized children in this country do not get a fair chance to succeed in life because of who they are and where they grow up,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and Advocacy.

This report found that Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Connecticut as the best states for a child to grow up, whereas Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas and Oklahoma and Lousianna were among the more difficult states for children to live in.

The Mountain State is ranked 36 out of 50 states in this county-by-county analysis. Putnam County was ranked as the best county for children to live in the state, and McDowell County was ranked as the most difficult county for children to live in. Doddridge, Gilmer, Pendleton, Pleasants, Tyler and Webster Counties were not ranked on this list because of insufficient data.

In the north central part of the state, counties ranked as follows out of the 49 counties with sufficient data:

  • Barbour: 24
  • Harrison: 14
  • Lewis: 45
  • Marion: 5
  • Monongalia: 11
  • Preston: 22
  • Randolph: 32
  • Ritchie: 31
  • Taylor: 21
  • Tucker: 16
  • Upshur: 28

“Raising a more successful generation of children will benefit our nation, and the world, for years to come,” said Betsy Zorio, Vice President, U.S. Programs & Advocacy for Save the Children. “Today’s children are tomorrow’s engineers, nurses, teachers, firefighters, entrepreneurs, inventors, humanitarians and simply put, leaders.”