A recent study entitled “One in Seven” examined the rate of “disconnectedness” amongst youth in the 25 largest metro areas in the US.
According to the results, 14 percent of teens nationwide are disconnected. “Disconnectedness” is defined as not working and not being in school.
Black youth accounted for the largest share of disconnected young people; a whopping 22.2 percent.
“Kristen Lewis, co-author of One in Seven, adds, “In the next five years, more than 29 million job openings will need to be filled by workers with some college or a certificate, but not necessarily a four-year degree.” She explains, “In today’s economy, everyone needs some education beyond high school, but as a society, we need to rethink the ‘college-for-all’ mantra that devalues and stigmatizes career and technical education. Instead, we should provide robust pathways to postsecondary certificates or associate degree programs for those who choose this route.”
Among the key findings from One in Seven:
- Nationwide, more than 5.8 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24—about one in seven—are neither working nor in school. The number of disconnected youth swelled by more than 800,000 from 2007 to 2010, a result of the Great Recession.
- Of the country’s major racial and ethnic groups, African Americans have the highest rate of youth disconnection—22.5 percent—while the national rate is 14.7 percent. Pittsburgh has the greatest disparity between African Americans and whites—26.3% of African American youth there are disconnected, while only 9.4% of white youth are.
- Boston tops the ranking overall, but has one of the highest rates of Latino youth disconnection among America’s biggest cities. Phoenix ranks last, although not everyone there is struggling. In fact, the white youth disconnection rate there is lower than the national disconnection rate for all youth.
Where a person lives is highly predictive of his or her likelihood of disconnection. In New York, the metro area with the widest youth disconnection gap between neighborhoods, disconnection rates range from 4% in parts of Long Island to a shocking 36% in parts of the South Bronx.”
Thoughts on the results of this study?
What can we do to fight disconnectedness amongst Black Youth?
Sound off below!