Household incomes, welfare recipients and school suspensions are only a small fraction of the information compiled for the annual KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee report. Each year, those factors are measured to determine the overall indicators for child well-being across the state.
In some areas, Weakley County ranked higher than others. Other data collected will show where the county stands in comparison to its neighbors. KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee 2011 was released this summer and contains information collected from 2009. The full report can be found on the web through the State of Tennessee website.
The average household income in Weakley County in 2009 was $34,767.
Of the 95 counties in Tennessee, 41 counties were reported to have an average household income between $29,945-$37,067. In neighboring counties, Obion had an average of $38,157; Carroll had an average of $34,747; and Henry County’s average household income was $32,760 in 2009, according to KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee 2011 report released last month. Eleven counties in Tennessee reported an average household income of $23,901-$29,945. Thirty-four counties reported an average income of $37,067-$46,523. Only nine counties in Tennessee reported an average household income of $46,523-$87,474.
Williamson County, which is the southern neighbor to Davidson County, reported the highest average household income across the state in 2009 at $87,474. The second highest average household income was reported in Wilson County, which is the eastern neighbor to Davidson County. Wilson County’s average household income in 2009 was $60,616. The lowest average household income was reported by Lake County at $25,973.
The average household income for the State of Tennessee in 2009 was $41,715.
When measuring child poverty, a little more than a quarter of children under the age of 18 are living in a home with an income below the poverty threshold in Weakley County.
Weakley County reported 1,702 children in homes with an income below the poverty level. That percentage is 25.6. Neighboring counties such as Henry and Carroll ranked lower with 26.2 percent based on population living below poverty (1,677 children) and 30.3 percent in Henry County (2,006 children). Obion County reported slightly more children living in homes with incomes below poverty levels at 1,747 children and 24.8 percent. Northwest Tennessee averaged slightly more than the overall percentage reported in the state in 2009. Twenty-four percent of the state’s children live in a household with incomes below poverty level, totaling 352,943 children.
In 2009, Weakley County had 279 juvenile court referrals, or unduplicated counts of children under 18 brought to juvenile court. Neighboring Carroll County had 190 referrals; Obion with 281 referrals; and Henry with 456 referrals.
The percent rate is based on the same age population. Weakley County’s rate was 3.9 percent of the juvenile population. The juvenile court referrals across the state in 2009 were 89,479, for a percent of 6.1.
When looking at children who were wards of the state in 2009, Weakley County’s percentage was 5.3 per 1,000 resident population of the same ages. The number of children in state custody in 2009 was 44 in the county. Weakley County’s number was slightly higher than its neighboring counties of Carroll, with 12 children; Obion with 22 children; and Henry with 33 children. In Tennessee, there were 7,041 children at 4.7 percent.
Although the number of reports of child abuse for children ages 0-17 was 335 in 2009 in Weakley County, 16 cases were actually considered “substantiated,” meaning there was enough evidence available to determine the presence of child abuse by Child Protective Services.
Carroll County had 332 reports of abuse, with 37 of those substantiated in 2009. Obion County had 304 reports, with 54 of those cases substantiated; and Henry County had 275 reports with 44 of those substantiated. Across the state, 10,235 cases were substantiated at a rate of 7 percent. There were 55,687 reports of child abuse in Tennessee in 2009.
The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program offered by the state provides vouchers for eligible pregnant women, infants and children to receive foods such as formula, milk, cereal and other dairy products. WIC serves ages 0-5.
In Weakley County in 2009, there were 677 children, or 31.5 percent, participating in the program. In Henry County, 750 children (33.6 percent) were served through WIC. In Carroll County, there were 561 children (27.3 percent) enrolled in the program and 785 children (31.9 percent) enrolled in Obion County. In Tennessee, there were 123,345 children (25.4 percent) enrolled in the program in 2009.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food coupons each month for needy families in Tennessee. Across the state from 2008-09, 1,070,758 (17.3 percent) of residents were recipients of food coupons.
In Weakley County, 5,929 people (17.6 percent) participated in the SNAP program. The number of people served through SNAP in neighboring counties was slightly higher. Obion County reported 6,103 (18.8 percent) SNAP recipients. Henry County served 6,494 people (20.1 percent), while Carroll County reported 6,114 recipients (20.7 percent).
Children in Tennessee are also served through the SNAP food coupon program. In 2008-09, children under the age of 18 receiving SNAP assistance totaled 488,686 (33.4 percent).
Weakley County’s percentage of children served through SNAP that year was a little less than the state average at 31.9 percent (2,271 children). Neighboring counties reported higher percentages of children served through SNAP.
Obion County had 2,558 (33.5 percent) SNAP recipients. Carroll County had 2,447 SNAP recipients under 18 (37.9 percent) and Henry County served 2,614 (37.8 percent).
Tennessee also provides two other types of assistance for families in the state.
Tennessee’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary welfare to residents. KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child in Tennessee measured children 17 years and younger who were cash recipients of the program in Tennessee.
In Weakley County, 294 children (4.1 percent) were enrolled in the program. In Carroll County, 502 children (7.8 percent) were TANF recipients. Henry County reported 584 children (8.4 percent) receiving TANF. In Obion County, 318 children (4.2 percent) were TANF recipients. Across the state, 106,730 children (7.3 percent) were TANF recipients in 2009.
Tennessee offers health insurance for residents under the age of 21. TennCare enrollees numbered in the hundreds of thousands in Tennessee in 2009. KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child recorded TennCare enrollees, which include Medicaid recipients and uninsured and uninsurable individuals under the age of 21 in 2009.
In Weakley County, there were 3,563 TennCare enrolles at a rate of 35.6 percent. Obion County reported 3,834 enrollees at a rate of 43.8 percent. In Henry County, there were 4.074 TennCare enrollees under the age of 21 for a rate of 50.9 percent. Carroll County reported 3,611 TennCare enrollees for a rate of 47.4 percent of the under 21 population.
Across the state, 745,991 people under the age of 21 was reported in this category for a rate of 43.2 percent.
The report then measured the number of people of all ages enrolled in TennCare. In Tennessee in 2009, there were 1,232,912 TennCare enrollees at a rate of 19.9 percent of the population.
Weakley County reported 6,442 (19.1 percent) enrollees. Carroll County reported 6,761 (22.9 percent) TennCare enrollees. Henry County reported 7,290 (22.6 percent) total TennCare enrollees and Obion County showed 6,863 (21.1 percent) TennCare enrollees in 2009.
When factoring health insurance as an indicator of child well-being, KIDS COUNT also looks at the number of licensed physicians and dentists in each county.
In 2009, there were 24 licensed physicians reported in Weakley County. There were 10 dentists in the county recorded for the KIDS COUNT report.
Obion County reported 29 physicians and 12 dentists, while Henry County showed 38 licensed physicians and 15 dentists. Carroll County reported 24 licensed physicians and 8 dentists in 2009. There were 15,813 licensed physicians and 3,317 licensed dentists in the State of Tennessee in 2009.
Another indicator of child well-being, according to the KIDS COUNT report, is prenatal care.
In Weakley County in 2009, the number of live births who received adequate prenatal care was 408 (77.7 percent). That number was higher than Weakley’s neighboring counties as well as in the state.
In Carroll County, there were 337 (73 percent) live births who received prenatal care in 2009. In Obion County, there were 365 (69.9 percent) reportedly receiving adequate prenatal care. In Henry County, there were 368 (70.9 percent) live births who received adequate prenatal care.
The number across the state was 82,109 (60 percent) in Tennessee.
Low-birth weight is considered babies born weighing less than 5 pounds and 8 ounces.
In 2009, across the state there were 7,535 (9.2 percent) babies who were born with low-birth weight. In Weakley County, 30 (7.4 percent) babies were born with low-birth weight. Thirty-nine (10.6 percent) babies were born with low-birth weight in Henry County, while 31 (9.2 percent) babies were born with low-birth weight in Carroll County.
Obion County also reported 30 (8.2 percent) babies born with low-birth weight in 2009.
The number of babies who died before reaching their first birthday in Tennessee in 2009 was 655 (8 percent). There were three (7.4 percent) infant deaths in Weakley County; six (16.3 percent) infant deaths in Henry County; two (5.5 percent) in Obion County; and no reports of infant death in Carroll County in 2009.
Teen pregnancy is measured by the number of pregnant females between the ages of 15 and 17. In 2009 in Tennessee, there were 3,651 teen pregnancies reported at a average rate of 29.6 percent.
Weakley County reported 19 teen pregnancies in 2009 at a rate of 28.3 percent based on population. Obion County had 20 teen pregnancies at a rate of 31.4 percent. Henry County reported 13 teen pregnancies at a rate of 19.5 percent, while Carroll County reported 13 teen pregnancies at a rate of 20.8 percent.
Shelby County had the highest report of teen pregnancies in 2009 at 985 (48.6 percent).
Moore County had no reported teen pregnancies in 2009.
The KIDS COUNT: State of the Child in Tennessee also measures the rate of teenagers from 15-17-years old diagnosed with Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis. In 2009 in Tennessee, there were 5,413 (21.2 percent) reports of teens with sexually-transmitted diseases.
There were 15 cases (11.1 percent) in Weakley County in 2009. Obion County reported 13 cases (9.6 percent). Carroll County reported five cases (4.1 percent) and Henry County reported 17 cases (13.1 percent).
There were 29 counties in the state with no reports of teenagers with STDs in 2009.
The following information is directly linked to education, including the free-and-reduced lunch program, special education students and drop-out rates.
School-age special education is based on the number of 6- to 21-year olds who were eligible for special education services during the 2009-10 school year. Children classified as gifted, as having a functional delay or attending special state schools were not included in the numbers.
In Weakley County, there were 595 students (12.5 percent) eligible for special education services in 2009. Obion County reported 639 (12 percent) students. Henry County reported 553 (11.7 percent) special education students. In Carroll County, there were 541 (11.4 percent) special education students. There were 105,328 special education eligible students in the state in 2009.
Each school year, when parents register their children for schools in the state, they are issued an application for their children to participate in the free-and-reduced price meal program. KIDS COUNT measured the number of students who actually applied for the program and those who actually participated in the program for the 2009-10 school year.
A certain portion of funding for local schools is not only based on the number of students who are eligible for the program, but also based on the number of families who apply for the program.
In Weakley County, there were 2,597 students who were eligible for the program. Only 2,200 of those students actually participated in the program in Weakley County in 2009-10. In Obion County, there were 3,099 eligible students, but only 2,638 students participated in the program.
Carroll County reported 2,873 eligible students, with 2,457 participating in the program. In Henry County, 3,072 students were eligible to receive a free-or-reduced price lunch, but 2,512 students participated in the program that year.
Sixty-three percent of the state’s students, or 556,685 students, were eligible for the program in 2009-10. Nearly 48 percent of the children, or 439,795 students, participated in the program across the state, across the state.
The number of cohort drop-outs is determined by the number of students who were no longer enrolled as 12th graders when compared to their numbers as 9th graders. These students may have failed or been held back a grade during high school. There were 24 “cohort drop-outs” reported in Weakley County schools in 2009.
Twenty-five students were classified as “cohort drop-outs” in Obion County. Carroll County reported 9 “cohort drop-outs,” while Henry County reported 19 “cohort drop-outs” in 2009.
There were 8,934 students reported as “cohort drop-outs” across the state in 2009.
Event drop-outs were classified as students younger than 18 who dropped out of school during grades 9 through 12 in 2008-09. Weakley County reported 47 event drop-outs. Obion County had 36 drop-outs. Henry County reported 21 drop-outs that school year, and Carroll County had 13 drop-outs.
There were 8,594 drop-outs across the state in 2008-09, according to KIDS COUNT data.
KIDS COUNT also measured school suspension for The State of the Child in Tennessee 2011 report. Weakley County reported 264 unduplicated suspensions during the 2009-10 school year. Obion County had a little less with 257 suspensions. Henry and Carroll counties had lower reports of suspensions that year with 67 in Carroll County reported and 47 reported in Henry County.