The Miserable Reality for Our Nation’s Young People

Young America’s Foundation (YAF) released its Youth Misery Index (YMI) report for 2013, and it’s a record high of 98.6! This number is calculated by adding youth unemployment, student loan debt, and national debt per capita. 

It should not be surprising that young people are the hardest hit by the Obama administration’s economic policies. The youth of this country are plagued by the burden of massive government debt and many will spend a large portion of their lifetime paying back student loans.

In 2013, youth unemployment was 16.3%, with many young people simply giving up on finding a job due to a very weak economy and almost little to know employment opportunity. Roughly six million people between the ages of 16 and 24 are sitting around “idle” and not in school or working, an all time high. 

Even worse, student loan debt in 2013 averages at about $29,400 (29.4 on the YMI scale). With many of today’s young people attending undergraduate school and with rising tuition costs, this is no doubt a huge financial burden for many students.

National debt per capita for 2013, which is an individual’s share of the $17 trillion national debt, is at an astronomical high of $52,948 (52.9 on YMI scale). America’s youth will be stuck picking up the tab for government debt that they themselves had no part in creating, a very dismal reality. 

Add all of these numbers up and the YMI comes out to a record-high of 98.6. Since 2009, when Obama took office, the YMI has increased 18.1%. This 18.1% may not seem like a lot, but it is in fact the highest YMI increase under any President, therefore making Obama the worst President for youth economic opportunity. The Foundation believes that our country’s young people deserve better and at this rate they are barely just getting by. Sadly, we at Young America’s Foundation don’t believe this was the hope and change that our young people so desperately wanted. 

Ashley Pratte is the Public Relations Officer for Young America’s Foundation.


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