Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Well-Being of the Young

Many of the nation's young adults are struggling to make ends meet, according to Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States. The analysis examines five domains of well-being: appliance ownership, housing quality, neighborhood quality, ability to get help if needed, and meeting basic needs. Young adults are coming up short in their ability to meet basic needs, reports the Census Bureau.

The ability to meet basic needs is measured by asking how many of the following problems a household has experienced in the past year: unable to pay for essential needs, unable to pay rent or mortgage, unable to make utility payments, eviction, utilities cut off, phone service cut off, unable to see a doctor or dentist when needed, and lacking the right kind of food or enough food. This is serious stuff. According to the bureau's analysis, 28 percent of householders under age 30 experienced at least one of these problems in 2011. One in ten experienced at least three problems. 

Percentage of householders under age 30 with problem in 2011
Unpaid essential needs: 20.2% 
Unpaid rent or mortgage: 10.7% 
Evicted for non-payment: 0.7% 
Unpaid utility bills: 14.5% 
Disconnected utility: 2.8% 
Disconnected phone: 6.3% 
Unmet need for doctor: 9.8%
Unmet need for dentist: 12.5%
Not enough wanted food: 22.8%
Food insecure household: 16.1%

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