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America's Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2014
100 pages
This report presents data on the demographic status and well-being of young adults in America, with attention to their education; economic circumstances; family formation; civic, social, and personal behavior; and health and safety.
Regarding demographics, as of 2012 there were 31.2 million young adults ages 18-24 living in the United States. Approximately 522,000 young adults were serving on active duty in the armed forces. Just over 180,000 young adults were imprisoned in State correctional institutions in 2011. In 2013, 84 percent of young adult women and 81 percent of young adult men had completed at least a high school education, up from 79 and 75 percent, respectively, in 1980. The overall college enrollment rate for 18-24-year-olds increased from 26 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 2012. Regarding economic circumstances, the labor-force participation rate for young adults was 65 percent in 2012, compared with the peak rate of 75 percent in 1986. Median annual earnings (in constant 2013 dollars) for young adults ages 20-24 not enrolled in school were lower in 2012 than they were in 2000 for all levels of education. Regarding family formation, 58 percent of young adult men and 51 percent of young adult women lived with their parents in 2013. Regarding civic, social, and personal behavior, young adults were less likely to vote in congressional election years than presidential election years; in 2012, 38 percent of young adults voted compared with 20 percent in 2010. Regarding health and safety, 71 percent of young adults ages 18-24 had a usual source of health care. From 2005 to 2011, the prevalence of major depressive episode was almost twice as high among females ages 18-24 (10 -12 percent) compared to young adult men (5-6 percent). Extensive tables and figures

Date Published: July 1, 2014