An alarming report shows Rochester has a huge number of “disconnected youth.” These are young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working and not in school. The report is by Measure of America.
In America, 13.8 percent – one in seven – people in this age group are disconnected. That’s 5.5 million people, equal to the population of Minnesota. Nationwide, 21.6 percent of black and 16.3 percent of Latino youth are disconnected.
In the Rochester metropolitan area, 13.4 percent of youth are disconnected. That’s on par with the national rate. It’s a large number: 21,701 young people. That’s slightly more people than live in the Town of Ogden.
Rochester’s black youth face a very high rate of disconnectedness: 30.8 percent, the third highest rate in the country. That means nearly one of three black young adults are not working and not going to school. The Latino rate is 23 percent. By any measure, this is a crisis.
But Rochester’s white youth are doing much better. Just under 10 percent of white youth are disconnected, compared to the national rate of 11.3 percent.
Disconnected youth are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of high school, have a disability and have children at a young age.
Here’s why we should care, the authors of the report say:
The costs of disconnection are high, both for individuals and for society. Disconnected youth are cut off from the people, institutions, and experiences that would otherwise help them develop the knowledge, skills, maturity, and sense of purpose required to live rewarding lives as adults. And the negative effects of youth disconnection ricochet across the economy, the social sector, the criminal justice system, and the political landscape, affecting all of us. Our analysis of a very small subset of the direct costs of youth disconnection reveals an astonishingly high cost to taxpayers: $26.8 billion in 2013 alone, or nearly the entire amount the federal government spends on science.
This is a problem affecting all of us.
Links of the Day:
– This makes me sad. Sunday hours are going away at the Central Library. No Rochester branch will be open on Sundays.
– Did state budget cuts contribute to the inmate escape?
– Police often blame suspects’ deaths on “excited delirium.” Is that a diagnosis or a cover-up?
– A Florida city finds red light cameras don’t make people safer.
– Technology to prevent drivers from starting their cars when they’ve been drinking could become standard in the future.
Tweet of the Day:
— John Kucko (@john_kucko) June 10, 2015