Number and Rate of Disconnected Youth Increases in Louisville

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Measure of America’s latest report, More Than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today, updates disconnected youth estimates for the country as a whole, for states, counties, and metro areas, and by gender and race and ethnicity. The report finds that the youth disconnection rate declined in the United States for the sixth year in a row, reaching a low of 11.7 percent in 2016.

However, the disconnection rate in Louisville/Jefferson County has increased from 10.9% (15,200 young people) in 2015 to 13.4% (18,800 young people) in 2016. Disconnection rates vary by gender and race:
  • 13.4% of all youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 13.9% of male youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 12.8% of female youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 27.7% of Black youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 10.5% of White youth/young adults are out of school and work

Disconnected—or opportunity—youth are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school. This report is the first in Measure of America’s disconnected youth series to compare American and European metro areas, or to examine disconnection by different group characteristics such as motherhood, marriage status, disability, English proficiency, citizenship, educational attainment, institutionalization, and household composition.

Other key findings include:

  • A chasm of nearly 20 percentage points separates the disconnection rates of racial and ethnic groups.
  • An alarmingly high share of disconnected black boys and young men—nearly a fifth—is institutionalized, compared to just 0.3 percent of the overall population in that age group.
  • Disconnected young people are about two-and-a-half times as likely to be living family other than parents, about twice as likely to be living with a roommate, and eight times as likely to be living alone.

To learn more about these and other findings, see the full report. The most recent data on disconnected youth can also be found in our interactive tool.

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