West Virginia 7th Most Poverty Stricken State in Nation; Earned Income Tax Credits May Help

Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram - West Virginia is the seventh-most poverty-stricken state in the nation, with a poverty rate of 17.9 percent, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Read

The Clarksburg area is only a little below that, with a poverty rate of around 15 percent.

This is statistically unchanged since the recession in 2008, according to Sean O'Leary, senior policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy


"Poverty numbers went up during the recession and stayed at that level," O'Leary said, pointing to income stagnation as one of the contributing factors.

West Virginia's median household income was an estimated $42,019 in 2015, the third lowest of all 50 states. The median household income in Clarksburg was $46,903.

One solution to the poverty problem could be the introduction of a refundable state earned income tax credit, or EITC, according to Seth DiStefano, a campaign coordinator for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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