Connecting Youth and Strengthening Communities: The Data Behind Civic Engagement and Economic Opportunity

Sep 26, 2014
  • Description
  • Key findings

Opportunity Nation, with research partner Measure of America, explores civic engagement and economic opportunity through the lens of the Opportunity Index, a data-rich tool that measures a region's capacity to expand opportunity to residents using 16 economic, educational and community factors. One of the indicators that correlates most closely with a state's Opportunity Score or a county's Opportunity Grade is the percentage of teens and young adults ages 16-24 who are neither in school nor working. Decreasing the number of disconnected youth is an urgent national priority, both to help millions of young Americans get ahead and to boost our nation's overall productivity and prosperity. Volunteerism and group membership may build social capital for youth, promote upward mobility and contribute to a range of positive outcomes that benefit both the individual and the community.