Learn More: Opportunity Youth

The Opportunity Youth dataset includes the following variable: Opportunity Youth. 
Browse this Learn More page to see this dataset's metadata and why its variable is important to measure.


Variable Definition:
Opportunity Youth: The percent of youth ages 16 to 24 who are neither working nor in school
American Community Survey (ACS) and The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA)
Years Available:
2006-10, 2008-12, 2009-13, 2010-14, 2011-15, 2012-16
Geographic Unit:
Census Tract

Why are these Variables Important to Measure?

Opportunity Youth
Opportunity youth (also referred to as disconnected youth) are individuals between the age of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school.  Such youth often leave school or work because of healthcare issues, pregnancy, the need to take care of younger siblings or caretakers, or because they are struggling and disconnected in school.
According to a report by Drexel University, it is particularly important for people in this age group to be working or in school because it is a critical time for developing ability, knowledge, skills, and character traits (also known as “human capital”) that are important for career path development later in life.  In addition to the future career implications, such youth also face disadvantages from being relatively isolated from society and have a higher chance of engaging in unhealthy behaviors like criminal activity. It is estimated there are currently around 73,000 opportunity youth living in the City of Los Angeles.

Featured Data Stories

Fogg, Neeta, and Paul Harrington. "The Human Capital Investment Gap: Understanding the Diminished Prospects of Disconnected Youth in Los Angeles." Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy (2016)
Back to Employment & Income
Download the Dataset