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 . Growth among young, non-white populations is occurring largely in suburbs and small cities .
Estimates suggest that by 2023, the percentage of white, non-Hispanic (NH) children will drop below 50%. By 2050, the percentage of Hispanic children is expected to reach 39%, overtaking the percentage of white-NH (38%) children .
In 2006, 11% of adolescents (ages 15-24) residing in the U.S. were born outside of the United States . Twenty-three percent of all children (age 0-17) are first or second generation immigrants (2011 numbers, here defined as living in the U.S. with at least one foreign-born parent) . Among children age 5-17 in 2010, 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 .
The number of children and youth in rural areas declined 10% between 2000 and 2008 .
Family IncomeThe percentage of adolescents (age 12-17) living in families with low income has risen since 2000. In a span of nine years (2000-2009), the number of adolescents living in poverty increased by 29% .
In 2010, 40% of adolescents age 12-17 lived in families with low incomes, including 18% below the federal poverty line. Fifty-nine percent of black adolescents lived in low-income families, as did 59% of American Indian, 59% of Hispanic, 34% of Asian, and 27% of white adolescents. Low income is defined here as less than 200% of the federal poverty line .
In 2010, 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. 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 .
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