According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there were 41,844,000 youth age 10-19 in the United States, 14% of the total U.S. population, in 2012 . In New York State, the population of youth age 10-19 is estimated to be 13% of the state's total population .
Ethnicity, Race, National OriginRacial/ethnic diversity is greater in the adolescent population than in the adult U.S. population, and diversity among adolescents is increasing [3, 4]. Growth among young, non-white populations is occurring largely in suburbs and small cities .
Estimates suggest that by 2019, the percentage of white, non-Hispanic (NH) children will drop below 50%. By 2050, the percentage of Hispanic children is expected to reach 36%, while the percentage of white-NH children will drop to 36% .
Twenty-four percent of all children (age 0-17) are first or second generation immigrants (2012 numbers, here defined as living in the U.S. with at least one foreign-born parent) . Among children age 5-17 in 2011, 22% of children did not speak English at home; however, only 5% of these children had difficulty speaking English .
Geographic SettingsIn 2002, over half (54%) of adolescents age 12-17 lived in suburbs, 27% in rural areas, and 19% in central cities .
In 2007, about 82% of children lived in large urban or suburban areas, and nearly 9% lived in small towns (under 50,000) or more rural areas .
Family IncomeMedian family income in U.S. households with children was $59,500 in 2012. This amount is low by comparison with income in 2008, but higher than in the intervening years .
The percentage of adolescents (age 12-17) living in families with low income increased from 36% in 2006 to roughly 41% in 2012 . Nineteen percent of this age group live below the poverty line .
Sixty percent of black and Hispanic adolescents live in low-income families, as do 58% of American Indian, 34% of Asian, 28% of white, and 40% of adolescents of some other race. In this age group, over half (54%) of children of immigrant parents have low incomes. Low income is defined here as less than 200% of the federal poverty line .
In 2012, 31% of children lived with parent(s) who did not have steady, full-time employment . In 2011, 22% of all children (under age 18) lived in families that were at times unable to provide enough food .
HomelessnessEstimates of homelessness among adolescents vary a great deal. In 2013, youth were included for the first time in the annual "point-in-time" tally of the homeless conducted by communities across the United States. In what is likely to be an under-count, 47,000 youth (unaccompanied children and young adults under age 25) -- nearly 8% of the homeless population -- were found to be homeless on the night of the count . Estimates from 1998 and 1999 suggest that 1.6-1.7 million youth experience at least one episode of homelessness each year .
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 . As youth who have been in foster care transition out of the system, many experience homelessness (11-37%) or unstable housing (25-50%) .
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