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South Carolina ranks 10th among states with the most at-risk youth

Out of their clothes and into prison jumpsuits, six boys are given a canteen and a number replaces their name at the Horry County Courthouse on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. The boys are participating in the SOAR (Succeed Overcome Achieve Reeducate) program hosted by the Horry County Sheriff's Office. The 12-hour SOAR program incorporates law enforcement agencies from around the county. It is designed for at-risk youth to put them through physical and mental stress so they can be righted. The guardians pay a $10 fee for Horry and Georgetown county residents and a $20 fee for those in other counties.
Out of their clothes and into prison jumpsuits, six boys are given a canteen and a number replaces their name at the Horry County Courthouse on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. The boys are participating in the SOAR (Succeed Overcome Achieve Reeducate) program hosted by the Horry County Sheriff's Office. The 12-hour SOAR program incorporates law enforcement agencies from around the county. It is designed for at-risk youth to put them through physical and mental stress so they can be righted. The guardians pay a $10 fee for Horry and Georgetown county residents and a $20 fee for those in other counties. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

South Carolina has a lot of at-risk youth.

A recent study released by Wallethub ranks South Carolina 10th in the nation with the most at-risk youth.

The full data set for South Carolina shows that 16.9 percent of young adults are disconnected youth. “Disconnected youth” refers to those between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not attending school, not working and have no degree beyond a high school diploma.

According to the data set, 15.3 percent of youth in the state don’t have a high school diploma. It also shows 18.25 percent of youth have used drugs in the past year.

Other individuals suffer from poor health conditions that hinder their ability to develop physically or socially.

In fact, 71 percent of young adults today are ineligible to join the U.S. military primarily because they are poorly educated, physically unfit, or involved in crime, according to Mission: Readiness, an organization of military leaders dedicated to policy solutions to help America’s youth.

“Research shows that environments where such problems are most prevalent often increase an adolescent's risk of adverse outcomes, including economic hardship, early pregnancy and violence, especially in adulthood,” Wallethub reports.

In order to determine where those individuals are not faring as well as others in the same age group, Wallethub analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 key indicators of youth risk.

The 10 key indicators are:

  • Share of Disconnected Youth (refers to the population aged 18 to 24)
  • Share of Youth with No High School Diploma (refers to the population aged 18 to 24)
  • Share of NAEP-Proficient Students
  • Share of Overweight & Obese Youth (refers to the population aged 18 to 24)
  • Share of Youth Using Drugs in Past Year (refers to the population aged 18 to 25)
  • Share of Physically, Mentally & Emotionally Inhibited Youth (refers to the population aged 18 to 24 who are limited in any activities due to physical, mental and emotional problems)
  • Labor Force Participation Rate Among Youth (refers to the population aged 16 to 24)
  • Share of AFQT Testers Scoring Above 50
  • Youth Poverty Rate (refers to the population aged 18 to 24)
  • Share of Homeless Youth (refers to the population aged 18 to 24)

According to the study, Mississippi is the state with most at-risk youth and North Dakota is the state with the least number of at risk youth.

Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles

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