Monday, October 3, 2011

Youth and Equity

An article from the Center for American Progress, Demographic Change Demands Equitable Policies for Youth of Color: Groups Are Increasing but Still Face Barriers to Opportunity, addresses the shifts in demographics in the United States and what that means for our country moving forward. The article states that while the country continues to become more diverse – there are still significant economic inequalities, and that these inequalities are particularly impacting young people. The article states that economic inequities continue to disproportionately affect young people of color—even those young people who successfully complete high school and those who graduate from college. The report highlights relevant data including:

  • Joblessness for African-American college graduates was at 19 percent, more than double what it was for white college graduates (8.4 percent), while 13.8 percent of Latino graduates were out of work.
  • Unemployment for African-American high school graduates under the age of 25 and not enrolled in college was 31.8 percent. Latino graduates were next with 22.8 percent in overall unemployment, compared to their white counterparts, at 20.3 percent.

The article suggests policy measures aimed at investing in newer generations of Americans so that they too have the opportunity to influence public policies that will directly affect their futures and those of the generations to follow, such as protecting immigrants’ rights and promoting youth civic engagement. For policymakers, promoting youth civic engagement not only helps to ensure the next generation of engaged and active citizens, but also promotes the health and well-being of the young people in their community.

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