States With the Most At-Risk Youth

Growing up can be hard. Without a stable home, positive role models and tools for success, many young Americans fall behind their peers and experience a rocky transition to adulthood. Today, about one in nine individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor attending school. Others suffer from poor health conditions that hinder their ability to develop physically or socially.

Such issues not only affect young people later in life, but they also prove harmful to society as a whole. For instance, more than 70 percent of young adults today are ineligible to join the U.S. military because they fail academic, moral or health qualifications. Research shows that when youth grow up in environments with economic problems and a lack of role models, they’re more at risk for poverty, early pregnancy and violence, especially in adulthood.

To determine the places where young Americans are not faring as well as others in the same age group, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key indicators of youth risk. The data set ranges from share of disconnected youth to labor force participation rate among youth to youth poverty rate. Scroll over the map below to see how your state ranks (1 being worst, 51 best).

Read how churches are coming alongside youth to give them hope for the future:

Church Connects Inner-City Youth with Role Models

Church Helps Bring Systemic Change for Disconnected Youth

Kids Camp Brings Gospel, Life Change to Foster Youth

Keeping Youth Involved Through Service

Discover tips and ideas for improving your youth ministry at


WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key indicators of youth risk  to come up with a composite ranking (1 being worst, 51 best).

Source: WalletHub

View all the results at

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