Youth Are Worse Off Now Than In 1990

Career College Central summary:

  • By several measures, America is becoming more educated, but young people may have less opportunity now than in 1990. The national high school graduation rate is the highest it's been in decades, and the percentage of adults with some form of college degree has also been on the rise. Nationwide, about 26 percent of adults over 25 had at least an associate's degree in 2010.
  • But there's been a growing trend of inequality among young adults, according to a historical report from Opportunity Nation, a national campaign focused on expanding economic mobility, and Measure for America, a project of the Social Science Research Council.
  • Since 1990, the percentage of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school has increased by 5 percent, to a national average of 14.7 percent in 2010. In some states – such as Mississippi, Nevada and Louisiana – the rate is as high as 20 percent, but in others – North Dakota, Minnesota and Vermont – it's below 10 percent.
  • "Rather than laying the foundation for a productive life by gaining skills, identity and purpose through school and work, disconnected youth find themselves adrift at society’s margins, with long-term consequences for young people and for society," the report says.

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