Source: The Cowen Institute
More than 6,200 people aged 16-24 either were unemployed or not enrolled in school in 2014 — accounting for 14.5 percent of all 16- to 24-year olds in Orleans Parish and nearly three times the number of high school graduates that year. According to an October report from the Cowen Institute on "opportunity youth," those 16- to 24-year-olds were most often black, male and living below the poverty line. More than 73 percent had no income, and more than 20 percent were women with children. "Opportunity youth" also faced significant health barriers. Those 16- to 24-year-olds had more than twice the rate of disabilities than their peers (nearly 13 percent vs. 5.2 percent of all 16- to 24-year-olds in the city that year), and nearly half did not have health insurance. The report recommends the city invest in more job training and youth services programs, programs targeting older youth (24-year-olds accounted for a quarter of "opportunity youth"), and health resources, particularly access to mental health care.