Growing Up Jersey: NJ Has Least At-Risk Youth in Nation
Personal finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2019's States with the Most At-Risk Youth. New Jersey ranked 51st on this list, meaning it has the least amount of disconnected youth.
About 1 in 9 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor attending school. About 70% of young adults do not qualify for military service because they lack moral, health or academic qualifications.
Analyst Jill Gonzalez said WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 15 key indicators of youth risk including the share of disconnected youth, the labor force participation rate and the youth poverty rate.
The state has the lowest youth poverty rate in the nation — about three times lower than that of D.C. and Mississippi.
It has a low percentage of homeless youth, ranking 28th on the list.
New Jersey also has one of the lowest percentages of youth drug users.
New Jersey also scored top marks in education and employment.
Gonzalez said that if she had to pick an area where the state could do slightly better, it would have to do with health. She said she would like to see an even lower share of overweight and obese youth, a problem that is as bad here as it is in the rest of the country.
The second state with the least amount of at-risk youth is Massachusetts followed by Minnesota, Utah and New Hampshire.
Louisiana is the state with the most at-risk youth, followed by Washington, D.C., Mississippi, Arkansas and Nevada.
New York ranked 26th on the list and Pennsylvania did a little bit better at 32nd.