CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new study says the income gap between West Virginia's richest and poorest residents has widened dramatically over the past few decades.
The Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released results of the study Thursday.
According to the study, West Virginia had the seventh largest increase in income inequality in the nation between the late 1970s and the mid-2000s. Stuart Frazier, a policy analyst for the nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, calls the trend "extremely troubling."
The study found that in the mid-2000s, the richest 20 percent of families had an income 8.4 times greater than the poorest 20 percent. In the late 1970s, this ratio was 4.9.