Thursday, December 8, 2011

Youth In Misery

Press Release: “Youth Misery Index” Exposes Worsening Economic Hardship for Young Americans

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YMIGHERNDON, VA – Young America’s Foundation has released the Youth Misery Index (YMI), which has reached a record high (90.6) and has grown more than 25 percent in four years—17 percent since the Obama administration took office.

To calculate the index, Young America’s Foundation adds together youth unemployment, average graduating student debt (in thousands), and national debt per capita (in thousands). At no point in recent history has life been harder for America’s young people.

The Youth Misery Index represents a three-pronged attack on young Americans’ financial security—educational debt from their past, unemployment in the present, and a future plagued by the burden of massive government debt.

Youth unemployment is at 17.4 percent—one of the highest levels since World War II. Average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $26,300. National debt per capita is $46,900—the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 90.6 (17.4 + 26.3 + 46.9 = 90.6). What does this number mean? Like Jimmy Carter’s Misery Index, the YMI uncovers some real threats to our nation’s prosperity.

As explained at, all three indicators of the Youth Misery Index have gone up, at least in part, thanks to government intervention and out-of-control spending. Few things are more earth-shattering to a young person than being stuck with no job and tens of thousands in college debt. As the Youth Misery Index rises, look for the Obama administration’s youth support to continue to plummet (as reported by the New York Times).

Young America’s Foundation’s Ron Meyer, who developed the Youth Misery Index with support from Nathan Harden, a Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, said, “As a recent college graduate myself, I’ve seen the harsh realities of the Youth Misery Index. Young people can and must be the catalyst to shock the establishment by advocating for the halt of big government. If we do nothing, we can kiss the American Dream goodbye."

For more information on the index or to request an interview, please call Ron Meyer at (800) USA-1776.