Which states have the highest levels of ‘at-risk’ youth? These 10 top the list

New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut rank among the best states for students with regard to postsecondary education and employment. But which states could use improvement?

Over the past few years, K12 education has become increasingly student-centered. More and more leaders are shifting their focus to bolstering mental health resources, providing students with career and technical education and other solutions designed to increase students’ employability and college acceptance rates. Some states, however, have more work to do to ensure their students complete high school with a plan, a new analysis suggests.

Personal finance website WalletHub released its latest state-by-state ranking revealing which states have the highest levels of “at-risk” students based on a variety of indicators, one of them being education and employment. This factor was measured using data related to several important measures, including:

  • Number of youth ages 18 to 24 who are not attending school, not working and have no postsecondary degree.
  • Number of youth ages 18 to 24 with no high school diploma.
  • Number of NAEP-proficient students.
  • Labor force participation rate among youth ages 16 to 24.
  • Share of Armed Forces Qualification Test-takers scoring at or above the 50th percentile.
  • Youth poverty rate.
  • Rate of teen pregnancy.
  • Share of homeless youth.
  • Presence of “state tuition waiver programs.”
  • Programs for youth in foster care.
  • Rate of youth detained under age 21 detained, incarcerated or placed in residential facilities.

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Using this methodology, the researchers ranked each state from worst to best. And according to the data, Louisiana has the highest levels of at-risk youth for education and employment.

Here’s a look at the 10 states with the highest levels of at-risk youth in this area:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Mississippi
  3. New Mexico
  4. West Virginia
  5. Alaska
  6. Arkansas
  7. South Carolina
  8. Alabama
  9. Oklahoma
  10. District of Columbia

Now, here are the 10 states with the lowest levels of at-risk youth (ordered from best to worst):

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Virginia
  7. Utah
  8. Vermont
  9. Iowa
  10. Minnesota

“There are numerous effective interventions for increasing employment and earning among rural youth, including those focused on providing assistance with job search activities, work readiness activities, and soft skills training,” said Emily Tanner-Smith, a Thomson Professor in the Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department at the University of Oregon, in a statement.

“Policymakers can also help promote rural youth’s connection to school and work by supporting career and technical education (CTE) offerings at the secondary level.”

Micah Ward
Micah Wardhttps://districtadministration.com
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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