A new report by the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio shows little improvement for low-income Appalachian children.
The report shows that since the year 2000, poverty rates in 32 Ohio counties rose from 17 to 26 percent. Unemployment is higher, median incomes continue to lag behind the state average, and more low-weight or drug-addicted babies have been born. More from Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles.
The new report finds the top 12 Ohio counties with the highest rates of child poverty are all located within Appalachia. That doesn’t come as a surprise to Republican State Representative Ryan Smith, who's from Gallipolis. He says generational poverty is hard to break.
“I don’t think there’s any silver bullet. I don’t think there’s any $50 million figure we could throw at anything to solve this problem.”
The report says more public and private partnerships are needed in the region to address challenges ranging from economic instability, food insecurity and educational deficits.