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Youth Statistics
In this section, we offer selected statistics regarding U.S. youth, together with a few statistics focused on New York State. Links and endnotes will connect you to rich resources for further information. These pages are updated periodically.

U.S. Teen Demographics

Visit these pages for selected statistics in the areas of health, sexual health, internet and social media, and family relationships.
 

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there were 41,910,114 youth age 10-19 in the United States, 13% of the total U.S. population, in 2017 [1]. In New York State, the population of youth age 10-19 is estimated to be 2,363,270, 12% of the state's total [2].

Gender

About 51% of the total U.S. population is female and 49% male [3]. A 2017 estimate of the transgender population, based on 12 national surveys, concluded that about one in every 250 adults is transgender (their gender identity does not match the sex assigned them at birth) [4].

Ethnicity, Race, National Origin

Racial/ethnic diversity is greater in the child population than in the adult U.S. population, and diversity among adolescents is increasing [5]. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that as soon as 2020, children and youth from ethnic/racial minorities will together comprise half of the population under age 18 [5]. By 2060, the percentage of children who are Latinx is expected to reach 32%, while the percentage of white NH children will drop to 36%; together, children who belong to ethnic/racial "minority" groups will comprise 64% of the youth population [5]. For a more detailed breakdown, visit the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 National Population Projections Tables and download Table 6.

Twenty-five percent of all children (age 0-17) are first or second generation immigrants (2017 numbers, here defined as living in the U.S. with at least one foreign-born parent) [6]. Among children age 5-17 in 2016, 23% of children did not speak English at home; however, only 5% of these children had difficulty speaking English [6].

In New York State, half of adolescents age 12-17 are white NH, 23% are Latinx, 16% are black NH, 8% are Asian NH, 3% are multiracial NH, less than 0.5% are American Indian/Alaskan Native NH, and less than 0.5% are Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander NH (2017 numbers) [7].

Geographic and Neighborhood Settings

In 2011-2012, about 85% of children lived in large urban or suburban areas, and nearly 16% lived in small towns (under 50,000) or more rural areas [8].

The 2016-2017 National Survey of Children's Health found that, according to their parents, 55% of children live in supportive neighborhoods: survey recipients agreed that people in the neighborhood help each other out, neighbors watch out for each other's children, and/or they know where to go for help [9]. In New York State, the percentage drops slightly to 52% [9].

The same survey found that the vast majority of parents consider their neighborhoods at least somewhat safe for their children. However, nearly 6% nationwide considered their neighborhoods unsafe; 9% in New York State [10].

Family Income

Median family income in U.S. households with children was $71,400 in 2017 [11]. In New York State, that figure is $74,200 [7].

The percentage of adolescents (age 12-17) living in impoverished or low-income families increased from 35% in 2008 to 40% in 2014 [12]. Nineteen percent of this age group live below the poverty line [12].

Sixty percent of black adolescents live in low-income families, as do 59% of Hispanic, 56% of American Indian, 32% of Asian, 27% of white, and 40% of adolescents of some other race. In this age group, over half (52%) of children of immigrant parents have low incomes. Low income is defined here as less than 200% of the federal poverty line [12].

In 2016, 28% of children lived with parent(s) who did not have steady, full-time employment [11] (30% in New York State [7]). In 2016, 18% of all children (under age 18) lived in families that were at times unable to provide enough food [6].

Homelessness

Estimates of homelessness among adolescents vary a great deal. In the 2017 "point-in-time" tally of the homeless conducted by communities across the United States, nearly 41,000 youth (unaccompanied children and young adults under age 25) -- about 7% of the homeless population -- were found to be homeless on the night of the count [13]. In addition, 9,436 parenting youth (parents under age 25 with their child present) were counted [13]. The vast majority of homeless parenting youth were age 18-24.

Homelessness estimates for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) vary from 6-35%. Pregnant and parenting youth are also at high risk for homelessness; one study found that nearly half of youth living on the streets and 33% of youth in shelters had been pregnant or caused a pregnancy; and roughly 10% of homeless adolescent women are pregnant at the time they are homeless [14]. As youth who have been in foster care transition out of the system, many experience homelessness (11-37%) or unstable housing (25-50%) [15].

Endnotes

[1]   U.S. Census Bureau. (2018, June). Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Selected Age Groups by Sex for the United States, States, Counties, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and Municipios: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.x
html?pid=PEP_2017_PEPAGESEX&prodType=table

 
[2]   Meerwijk, E. L., & Sevelius, J. M. (2017). Transgender population size in the United States: A meta-regression of population-based probability samples. American Journal of Public Health, 107(2), e1-e8.
doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303578
 
[3]   U.S. Census Bureau. (2018, June). Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Selected Age Groups by Sex for the United States, States, Counties, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and Municipios: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 [Geography: New York]. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.x
html?pid=PEP_2017_PEPAGESEX&prodType=table
(Select Geography: New York)
 
[4]   U.S. Census Bureau. (2018, September 6). 2017 national population projections tables, Table 6 [Summary table]. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/popproj/2017-summary-tables.html
 
[5]   Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2018). America's children: Key national indicators of well-being, 2018: America's Children at a Glance. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
childstats.gov/americaschildren/glance.asp
 
[6]   Annie E. Casey Foundation. (n.d.). Kids Count Data Center: Choose a location. Retrieved December 7, 2018 from
datacenter.kidscount.org/locations
 
[7]   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. (2014). Child health USA 2014: Rural and urban children. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa14/dl/chusa14.pdf
 
[8]   Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (n.d.). 2016-2017 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) data query. Indicator 7.1: Does this child live in a supportive neighborhood? Retrieved December 7, 2018 from
childhealthdata.org/browse/survey/results?q=6431&r=1&r2=34
 
[9]   Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (n.d.). 2016-2017 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) data query. Indicator 7.2: Does this child live in a safe neighborhood? Retrieved December 7, 2018 from
childhealthdata.org/browse/survey/results?q=6432&r=1&r2=34
 
[10]   Annie E. Casey Foundation. (n.d.). Kids Count Data Center: Data by topic. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
datacenter.kidscount.org/topics
 
[11]   Jiang, Y., Ekono, M., & Skinner, C. (2016, February). Basic facts about low-income children: Children aged 12 through 17 years, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from the National Center for Children in Poverty website:
nccp.org/publications/pub_1147.html
 
[12]   U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2017, December). The 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2017-AHAR-Part-1.pdf
 
[13]   Toro, P. A., Dworsky, A., & Fowler, P. J. (2007). Homeless youth in the United States: Recent research findings and intervention approaches. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website:
huduser.org/portal/publications/homeless/p6.html
 
[14]   U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (n.d.). Understanding housing challenges and supports for former foster youth. PD&R Edge. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from
huduser.org/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_research_060214.html
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