August 2, 2018

The little noted youth revolution

Yes Magazine

 The census finds Americans under age 25 (51 percent white, 25 percent Latino, 14 percent black, 5 percent Asian, 5 percent other/mixed) far more diverse than elders (age 55-older: 74 percent white).

In harbingers such as California, nearly three-fourths of young people now are of color, and half have at least one foreign-born parent. That’s what America’s future looks like.

And they’re leading a revolution. Statistics look like typos, but they’re real.

As California’s teenage youth population grew by 1 million from 1990 to 2015, Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control, and census figures show their murder arrests fell from 658 to 88 (in Los Angeles and notorious Compton, from 269 to 8 ), violent crimes from 21,000 to 7,000, property felonies from 54,000 to 7,000, total criminal arrests from 220,000 to 63,000, gun killings from 351 to 84, juvenile imprisonments from 10,000 to 700, births from 26,000 to 7,000, and school dropout rates from 16 percent to 6 percent. College enrollment and graduation soared (from 34 percent to 47 percent).

While California’s trends are especially pronounced, FBI and CDC tabulations show major declines in youth problems are occurring everywhere—from Connecticut to Texas, Michigan to Arizona, Atlanta to Seattle, in localities with vigorous anti-violence measures and those with none, with strong gun controls or "gun rights" regimes, with lots of kids in prison or few. Since 1995, the FBI’s 40 reporting states saw juvenile violent and property crime declines of at least 55 percent; 23 had declines of over 70 percent.

.... That large improvements among youth occurred in areas with very different conditions and policies makes them difficult for ideologues and experts to explain. Analyses shows repressive measures that were supposed to make youth safer, like higher drinking ages, teen driving bans, and curfews, have either proven ineffective or made dangers worse. Little has been done to reduce staggering levels of poverty afflicting the young. College tuitions have soared, along with student debt.

The credit for improvements appears to lie with younger generations themselves.


FHS said...

Yes indeed I see this with our sons and their friends. Mostly they are very well off, but our sons are middle class both saddled with debt especially our older son who lives and works in DC now, for National Geographic as a digital archivist. That is just anecdotal but I believe this is true. Thanks for the article! FHS

MAMADOC said...

Hmmmm...Not hard to suppose that Having access to so many new horizons at the tip of your fingers would help dispell the anger, the boredom, the hopelessness leading to much of the disruptive behavior of petty crime.