A Profile of Disconnected Young Adults in 2010

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Center for Children in Poverty

December 1, 2010

Summary

In 16 fact-packed pages, this report rings the alarm on a growing demographic: young adults who have fallen off the road to economic independence. Readers will learn how this group compares to their self-sufficient counterparts, the lasting consequences of missing the adulthood mark, and specific strategies for helping these wayward individuals get their lives — and futures — back on track.       

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The journey to adulthood is taking longer and starting later—and it’s leaving a growing number of youth behind

The research is clear: Children are living at home longer than they were 30 years ago. Young adults are also staying in school longer and delaying important life milestones such as marriage and parenthood. Even more, an increasing number of young adults are not participating in any of the activities — work, school or military service — that serve as common gateways to self-sufficiency and economic independence.

Findings & Stats

Connected vs. Disconnected Adults

Compared to their connected counterparts, disconnected young adults are more likely to be married, lack health insurance and receive some kind of public assistance. They are also more than twice as likely to live in poverty, have a child and be a single parent.

A Growing Concern

In 2010, 4.3 million individuals — approximately 15% of all young adults — were disconnected. This marks a 30% jump in the number of disconnected young adults in just 10 years.    

Statements & Quotations