Growing up can be hard. Without a stable home, positive role models and tools for success, many young Americans fall behind their peers and experience a rocky transition to adulthood.
Today, about one in nine individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor attending school. Others suffer from poor health conditions that hinder their ability to develop physically or socially.
Such issues not only affect young people later in life, but they also prove harmful to society as a whole. For instance, more than 70 percent of young adults today are ineligible to join the U.S. military because they fail academic, moral or health qualifications. Research shows that when youth grow up in environments with economic problems and a lack of role models, they’re more at risk for poverty, early pregnancy and violence, especially in adulthood.
To determine the places where young Americans are not faring as well as others in the same age group, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 15 key indicators of youth risk. Our data set ranges from share of disconnected youth to labor force participation rate among youth to youth poverty rate.
|States with the Most At-Risk Youth||States with the Least At-Risk Youth|
|2||District of Columbia||43||Connecticut|
|6||West Virginia||47||New Hampshire|
|10||New Mexico||51||New Jersey|
- New Mexico, West Virginia and Louisiana have the highest share of disconnected youth, 19.00 percent, which is 3.2 times higher than in North Dakota, the lowest at 6.00 percent.
- Louisiana has the highest share of youth without a high school diploma, 17.80 percent, which is 2.4 times higher than in Hawaii, the lowest at 7.40 percent.
- Oklahoma has the highest share of overweight or obese youth, 61.50 percent, which is 1.9 times higher than in Massachusetts, the lowest at 32.10 percent.
- Vermont has the highest share of youth using drugs in the past month, 40.32 percent, which is 2.5 times higher than in North Dakota, the lowest at 16.18 percent.
- Nevada has the highest share of homeless youth, 0.56 percent, which is 18.7 times higher than in Mississippi, the lowest at 0.03 percent.
Read the full report for the findings, insight into the future of America’s young population and a description of the methodology.
If you are at your wit’s end with your teenager and have exhausted your local resources, it might be time to consider residential therapy. Contact us for more information.