The voices of Urban Institute's researchers and staff
November 8, 2011

Disconnected and Losing Ground: Race, Region, Education and the Recession

November 8, 2011

Surprising though it may seem, the Great Recession’s end could spell bad news for young African Americans. Past trends suggest that “disconnectedness” – not having a job and not being in school – actually increases for young adults post-recession.  And these trends are magnified for African Americans.

The latest downturn may be no exception. American Community Survey data show that African Americans ages 18-29 are the least connected of all youth. In fact, their disconnection rates can reach as high as near 15% in such Midwestern cities as Chicago and Detroit.

Our latest MetroTrends commentary provides eye-opening breakdowns by race and region of youth cut loose from the socioeconomic foundation on which our future economy rests. What social and economic patterns explain these differences? What profound consequences might these patterns suggest for our country’s future? The latest commentary sheds light on these questions.  

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