The Appalachian Regional Commission says more than one-fourth of West Virginia's counties are considered economically distressed.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the commission has added Fayette, Summers and Wetzel counties to the distressed category, moving them from at-risk counties.
The commission says 15 of West Virginia's 55 counties are now considered economically stressed. The others are Braxton, Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Webster and Wyoming counties.
Despite the increase in West Virginia, the commission says the number of distressed counties in Appalachia as a whole dropped by three to 81.
The commission uses five economic designations to set rates for its funding contributions for projects. Distressed counties are eligible to have as much as 80 percent of project costs paid for by the ARC.