The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics has published a report, America’s Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014, that pulls data from nationally representative federal surveys on the demographics; education; economic circumstances; family formation; civic, social, and personal behavior; and health and safety of adults aged 18-24. A press release about the report notes: “American young adults are more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school, and attend college, and less likely to smoke than previous generations… However, the young adults have more student debt than generations past, earn less than their counterparts in the year 2000, and more than 1 in 5 are obese.” Some highlights include:
- More than half a million young adults were serving on active duty in the armed forces in 2012.
- Over 180,000 young adults were imprisoned in state correctional institutions in 2011.
- College enrollment increased from 26 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 2012.
- The mean cumulative debt for a fourth-year student in 2011-12 was $25,400, compared to $14,700 in 1989-90.
- Median annual earnings in 2012 (in constant dollars) were lower for young adults at all levels of education than they were in 2000.
- In 2013, 58 percent of young adult men and 51 percent of young adult women lived with their parents.
- After a significant increase in obesity between 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, there was not a significant change in the obesity rate between 1999-2002 and 2007-2010.
The Forum is a working group of 22 federal agencies that “fosters coordination, collaboration, and integration of Federal efforts to collect, analyze and report data on conditions and trends related to child and family well-being.”