A newly-released report by the Save the Children organization gives local counties low rankings on measures for how children are prioritized and protected.
“The Land of Inopportunity” report released recently marks the first time Save the Children has ranked U.S. counties and county-equivalents on measures including child hunger, poor education, teenage pregnancy and early death due to accident, murder or suicide.
“This report uncovers an unacceptable reality in America, where one child can be exponentially more likely than another to succeed in life based solely on the county where they grow up,” Save the Children said in a statement.
According to the report, which did not rank seven counties in Kentucky and six counties in West Virginia due to insufficient data:
• Floyd County ranks among the lowest counties in the state (96th out of 113) in the measures and ranks 2,058th out of 2,617 counties in the U.S. According to the data, Floyd County’s stats include 68.9 child deaths per 100,000 before age 18, 52.3 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 girls, a 26.8 percent rate of children who have experienced food insecurity in the last year, and a 3.5 percent high school dropout rate.
• Mingo County, West Virginia, ranks among the lowest counties in the nation, coming in at 2,185th out of 2,617 counties, and also 41st out of 49 counties in West Virginia. According to the report, Mingo County has 68.9 deaths per 100,000 of children before age 18, a teen pregnancy rate of 51.3 births per 1,000 girls, a rate of 27 percent of children who have experienced food insecurity in the last year and a 6.5 percent high school dropout rate.
• Pike County ranks 1,833rd out of 2,617 counties in the U.S., while ranking 83rd out of 113 in the state. According to the report, Pike County has a rate of 68.3 child deaths per 100,000 and a teen pregnancy rate of 35.7 births per 1,000 girls. The report shows 24.4 percent of Pike County children have experienced food insecurity in the last year and has a 3.5 percent high school dropout rate.
• Perry County ranks 1,264 out of 2,617 counties nationwide, while ranking 42nd out of 113 counties in the state. Perry has a child death rate of 39.9 deaths per 100,000 under age 18, as well as a teen pregnancy rate of 48.7 per 1,000 girls. Also, the report shows, 23.4 percent of Floyd County children have experienced food insecurity in the past year and the county has a 2.9 percent high school dropout rate.
• Johnson County ranked among the best in the state, coming in at 31st out of 113, and 1,013rd out of 2,617 in the U.S. According to the report, Johnson County has a child death rate of 43.1 per 100,000 under age 18, a teen pregnancy rate of 31.7 births per 1,000 girls, a child hunger rate of 21.9 percent who have experienced food insecurity within the last year and a 4.2 percent high school dropout rate.
The rankings are a compliment to the organization’s fourth annual Global Childhood Report, which examines countries based on several measures. According to that report, the U.S. ranks 43rd out of 180 countries, tied with China and Montenegro, and trails nearly all other high-income countries in helping children reach their full potential.
For more information on the rankings, as well as further data and the full report, visit, www.savethechildren.org/us/about-us/resource-library/us-childhood-report.