The Staggering Economic Cost Of America’s 7 Million Lost Youth

james dean

A new report calculates the economic cost of nearly 7 million lost youth, people aged 16 to 24 who aren’t in school and don’t have a steady job (via The Atlantic).

“Opportunity youth” don’t contribute to the economy or the tax pool. Worse, they drain money due to a tendency toward crime, welfare and medical problems.

Each lost youth has a $13,900 fiscal burden and a $37,450 social burden per year, according to the White House Council for Community Solutions report.

Over the course of his lifetime, the average lost youth will have a fiscal burden of $170,740 and a social burden of $529,030. Counting all 6.7 million lost youth, that fiscal burden becomes $1.6 trillion and the social burden becomes $4.8 trillion.

So who are these lost? They are disproportionately male and from minority groups, with the highest cost associated with black males, but they include large numbers for all youth groups. Lost youth have always existed, but their numbers are rising in this economic climate.

Here’s a look at how the calculations for lifetime cost. Dig into the full report here.


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