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Poverty and Today's Young Adults

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Poverty and Today's Young Adults

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  • March 11, 2004
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Poverty and Today's Young Adults

The United States government estimates that there are over thirty-seven million people living in poverty in our(1st person) country. These figures are not a surprise. The number of poor people in America has been rising since the 1970's. The disturbing surprise is that poverty among young adults is increasing faster than any other segment of our"© population. Young adults are falling by the wayside into poverty at alarming rates and these rates are expected to grow in the next decade. Although these young Americans come from varied gender/racial groups, they share common life circumstances that have attributed to their economic plight of poverty and vulnerability.

The first common denominator that these young adults share is that they leave their family home at an early age. Some make a conscious decision to leave; others are forced to leave. Some of these young people leave home as early as sixteen years of age; almost all leave by the time they are eighteen years of age. The ones that make a conscious decision to leave home do so for similar reasons. They want to live independently without parental control. The young people who are forced to leave their parents home, however, have other circumstances dictating their removal. Many come from divorced families where the mother or care-taker has limited financial resources to support the family. Others have grown up in poverty and the welfare system can no longer support them inside their family structure. Many young females and males have to leave because they are parents themselves. Whether these young people choose to leave their home or are forced to leave, they begin life on their own without significant financial support.

The next step contributing to poverty for these young adults is that they are poorly educated. Most of the ones that leave home before eighteen do not finish high school. The young people that do not finish high school usually do not excel in their...