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West Virginia was the only state in the nation to see its rate of child poverty increase from 2021, according to the data. That increase — a 20% change from the 2021 rate, when 20.7% of children here were living in poverty — does not reflect factors that may push more families into poverty, including an increase in the cost of living, inflation or the discontinuation of safety net programs that helped keep families afloat during the pandemic.
Sean O’Leary, a policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said that while state-by-state data isn’t available for supplemental poverty numbers — which would include tax rebates and other programs that assist families — it’s likely that West Virginia’s rates reflect that of the country as a whole.
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