A new WalletHub report identified Utah as the state with the second-least amount of at-risk youth in the nation.
The Beehive State was second to North Dakota. But Utah placed ahead of New Hampshire, Iowa and Minnesota in the top five.
The report defined at-risk youth as young Americans who “fall behind their peers and experience a rocky transition to adulthood.”
To measure this, WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 10 factors for youth risk, including workforce participation rate, youth poverty rate and the amount of youth drug users.
The report also compared states on percentages of youth without a high school diploma, overweight and obese youth and homeless youth.
Utah had the second-lowest percent of youth drug users (right behind South Dakota) and the second-highest youth labor force (falling right behind Iowa).
Utah also had the 47th lowest percentage of homeless youth.
WalletHub also measured these changes over time, showing how each state’s youth population has become more disconnected over time. Utah’s idle youth rate remained relatively stable from 2008 to 2015.
Most young adults in America are either unemployed or not in school, according to The Atlantic. Disconnection between youth and the workforce can happen due to a number of factors, including socioeconomic and racial segregation.
In fact, a new report from Measure of America found that all of the country’s 98 most popular cities have a white disconnection rate that isn't higher than that of blacks.
The report also found that nine cities, including Las Vegas, “have disconnection rates so high that in those regions 1 in 4 black youth are neither in school nor employed. Similar findings are outlined for Latino youth,” according to The Atlantic.
Other major cities, like Chicago, have seen even higher numbers than that, The Atlantic reported.2 comments on this story
There are no easy solutions to fixing these problems, according to The Atlantic. Physical infrastructure and good character lessons do little to reconnect youth to school and labor.
Robert Putnam, a political scientist at Harvard, told The Atlantic that the country needs to work to fix this issue.
“We all need to be responsible for other people’s kids, and not just out of altruism,” he told The Atlantic. “We know that if we don’t help these poor kids have a chance to succeed economically, the whole country will be worse off.”