BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – A WalletHub study on 2022’s U.S. states with the most at-risk youth ranked West Virginia 4th placing it only below Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Because almost 13% of young Americans are neither working nor in school, exposing them to greater risk of poverty and violence, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s States with the Most At-Risk Youth.

To determine where young Americans are not faring as well as others in their age group, especially in a year made difficult to measure by inflation and the continued presence of COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 key indicators of youth risk. The data set ranges from the share of disconnected youth to the labor force participation rate among youth to the youth poverty rate.

West Virginia’s rankings in some of the important categories is as follows:

At-Risk Youth in West Virginia: (1=Most at Risk; 25=Avg.):

  • 2nd – % of Disconnected Youth
  • 30th – % of Youth Without a High School Diploma
  • 17th – % of Overweight & Obese Youth
  • 21st – % of Youth Drug Users
  • 6th – Youth Labor Force Participation Rate
  • 2nd – Youth Poverty Rate
  • 23rd – % of Homeless Youth
  • 14th – Share of Population Aged 12 and Older Fully Vaccinated

The full report can be read here.