Marriage Measures Guide of State-Level Statistics. West Virginia

03/30/2008

Overview and Key Statistics

State Population

  • In 2006, West Virginia’s state population was 1,818,470, which ranked 37th among the 50 states.
  • The state’s largest racial/ethnic groups were whites (95 percent) and African Americans (3 percent).

Marriage and Childbearing

  • In 2004, there were 7,272 births to unmarried women in West Virginia, accounting for 34.8 percent of all births in the state.
  • West Virginia ranked 27th among the 50 states in the highest percentage of births to unmarried women.
  • In 2004, there were 6,661 births to unmarried white women in West Virginia and 513 births to unmarried African American women.

Marriage and Divorce

  • In 2005, West Virginia had a divorce rate of 5.1 divorces per 1,000 people.  West Virginia’s divorce rate ranked fifth highest among the 44 states that report divorce statistics.
  • In West Virginia, the percentage of adults who were divorced was 14.9 percent, compared to the national average of 15.0 percent.
  • The percentage of adults who were divorced was 15.7 percent in rural areas and 13.8 percent in urban areas.

Marriage and Low-Income Children

  • In 2006, West Virginia had 184,354 children living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Just over half of these children (51.8 percent) were living with married parents.
  • The state’s largest group of low-income children lived with married parents in rural areas.  In 2006, there were 58,699 children in this group.

 

TABLE WV-1.

WEST VIRGINIA

NONMARITAL BIRTHS,

BY MOTHER’S AGE, RACE/ETHNICITY, EDUCATION LEVEL, AND COUNTY

 

 

West Virginia

 

South Atlantic Regiona

 

United States

Population Group

Number of Births to Unmarried Women

Number of Births to All Women

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

 

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

 

Percent of Births to Unmarried Women

Mother’s Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than 18

        652

        743

 87.8

 

 90.8

 

90.6

18 to 29

      5,745

     14,488

 39.7

 

 48.2

 

45.3

Over 30

        875

      5,649

 15.5

 

 16.7

 

16.0

Mother’s Race/Ethnicityb, c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

      6,661

     19,831

 33.6

 

 24.8

 

24.5

African American

        513

        669

 76.7

 

 66.4

 

69.3

Hispanic

         52

        151

 34.4

 

 45.1

 

46.4

Other

         31

        185

 16.8

 

 14.5

 

21.7

Mother’s Educationb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

      2,337

      3,835

 60.9

 

 66.4

 

60.9

High school graduate

      4,427

     12,583

 35.2

 

 41.3

 

39.8

College graduate

        318

      3,934

  8.1

 

  7.3

 

7.0

Geographic Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanawha County

        963

      2,449

 39.3

 

---

 

---

All other counties

      6,309

     18,431

 34.2

 

---

 

---

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

      7,272

     20,880

 34.8

 

 38.1

 

35.8

 

Source:     National Center for Health Statistics.  See Technical Appendix for details.

a Includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

bNumber of births in groups may not sum to state total (bottom row) due to missing demographic information.

cSee Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups.

 

TABLE WV-2.

WEST VIRGINIA

DIVORCE RATES,

BY GENDER, RACE/ETHNICITY, EDUCATION LEVEL, AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA

 

Overall Rates, 2005

Measure

West Virginia

 

South Atlantic Regiona

 

United Statesb

Number of divorces granted

      9,223

 

    189,151

 

846,166

Number of divorces granted per 1,000 peoplec

  5.1

 

  4.1

 

3.6

State ranking (highest to lowest)b

  5

 

 

 

 

 

Source:     National Center for Health Statistics. See Technical Appendix for details.

a Includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

b Excludes six states where data are not available.  See Technical Appendix for list.

c This statistic should not be interpreted as the number of marriages that end in divorce.  See p. 7 for details.

 

Percentage of Ever-Married Adults Who Are Divorced, 2006

 

West Virginia

 

South Atlantic Regiond

 

United States

Population Group

Number of
Divorced People

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

 

Percent of
Group

Gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men

     75,231

 14.6

 

 14.0

 

 13.7

Women

     90,154

 15.1

 

 16.3

 

 16.0

Race/Ethnicitye

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

    156,002

 14.6

 

 14.8

 

 15.0

African American

      6,139

 24.0

 

 19.7

 

 21.1

Hispanic

        563

 10.6

 

 13.2

 

 12.2

Other

      2,681

 17.9

 

 10.8

 

 10.4

Education Level

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than high school

     29,765

 14.4

 

 14.2

 

 13.4

High school graduate

    110,278

 15.2

 

 16.8

 

 16.8

College graduate

     25,342

 14.2

 

 12.4

 

 11.9

Geographic Areae

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rural

     97,668

 15.7

 

 14.6

 

 14.5

Urban

     67,717

 13.8

 

 15.4

 

 15.1

Total

    165,385

 14.9

 

 15.2

 

 15.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Notes:       Sample limited to ever-married individuals ages 15 and older.  Those who have remarried after a divorce are not counted as divorced in these percentages. See Technical Appendix for details.

d Includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

e See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups and geographic areas.

 

TABLE WV-3.

WEST VIRGINIA

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA

 

 

 

West Virginia

 

South Atlantic Regiona

 

United States

Geographic
Areab

Family
Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

All Areas

Married Parents

     95,472

 51.8

 

 40.7

 

45.4

 

Cohabiting Parents

     14,253

  7.7

 

  8.9

 

9.1

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     18,887

 10.2

 

 17.6

 

14.9

 

Formerly married

     35,798

 19.4

 

 18.5

 

18.0

 

Neither Parent

      7,611

  4.1

 

  5.2

 

4.3

 

Unknownc

     12,333

  6.7

 

  9.0

 

8.3

 

Total

    184,354

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Rural

Married Parents

     58,699

 53.3

 

 41.7

 

48.0

 

Cohabiting Parents

      9,299

  8.5

 

  8.7

 

9.6

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      8,927

  8.1

 

 14.3

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

     21,771

 19.8

 

 19.8

 

19.0

 

Neither Parent

      4,701

  4.3

 

  6.2

 

5.2

 

Unknownc

      6,633

  6.0

 

  9.3

 

7.9

 

Total

    110,030

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Urban

Married Parents

     36,773

 49.5

 

 40.4

 

44.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

      4,954

  6.7

 

  9.0

 

9.0

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      9,960

 13.4

 

 18.6

 

15.9

 

Formerly married

     14,027

 18.9

 

 18.2

 

17.7

 

Neither Parent

      2,910

  3.9

 

  4.9

 

4.1

 

Unknownc

      5,700

  7.7

 

  8.9

 

8.3

 

Total

     74,324

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Note:          Low-income children are defined as those living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

a Includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of geographic areas.

c Children in complex family types that cannot be distinguished using ACS data.  See Technical Appendix for details.

 

TABLE WV-4.

WEST VIRGINIA

DISTRIBUTION OF LOW-INCOME CHILDREN,

BY FAMILY TYPE AND RACIAL/ETHNIC BACKGROUND

 

 

 

West Virginia

 

South Atlantic Regiona

 

United
States

Racial/Ethnic Groupb

Family Type

Number of
Children

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

 

Percent of
Children

White

Married Parents

     92,105

 55.3

 

 51.8

 

52.3

 

Cohabiting Parents

     11,415

  6.9

 

  9.9

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

     14,511

  8.7

 

  5.3

 

6.5

 

Formerly married

     31,081

 18.7

 

 20.9

 

21.0

 

Neither Parent

      7,183

  4.3

 

  4.5

 

4.0

 

Unknownc

     10,332

  6.2

 

  7.6

 

6.2

 

Total

    166,627

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

African
American

Married Parents

        452

  5.6

 

 20.8

 

20.0

Cohabiting Parents

      1,032

 12.8

 

  6.8

 

6.3

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      2,242

 27.8

 

 35.0

 

37.3

 

Formerly married

      2,831

 35.1

 

 19.0

 

18.6

 

Neither Parent

        330

  4.1

 

  7.0

 

6.9

 

Unknownc

      1,178

 14.6

 

 11.6

 

10.9

 

Total

      8,065

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

Hispanic

Married Parents

NA

NA

 

 56.5

 

53.8

 

Cohabiting Parents

NA

NA

 

 11.4

 

9.9

 

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

NA

NA

 

  8.2

 

10.3

 

Formerly married

NA

NA

 

 13.8

 

14.1

 

Neither Parent

NA

NA

 

  3.1

 

3.0

 

Unknownc

NA

NA

 

  7.1

 

8.9

 

Total

NA

NA

 

100.0

 

100.0

Other

Married Parents

      2,401

 29.3

 

 49.7

 

50.0

Cohabiting Parents

      1,806

 22.1

 

  9.0

 

9.5

Single Parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never married

      1,986

 24.3

 

 14.5

 

12.0

 

Formerly married

      1,112

 13.6

 

 14.7

 

15.8

 

Neither Parent

NA

NA

 

  4.6

 

4.0

 

Unknownc

        823

 10.1

 

  7.5

 

8.7

 

Total

      8,185

100.0

 

100.0

 

100.0

 

Source:     American Community Survey (ACS), 2006.  See Technical Appendix for details.

Note:          Low-income children are defined as those living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

a Includes Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

b See Technical Appendix for definition of racial/ethnic groups.

c Children in complex family types that cannot be distinguished using ACS data.  See Technical Appendix for details.

NA = not available; sample sizes are too small to produce precise state-level estimates.

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