Socio-Economic Mobility of Youth: Factors, Obstacles, and Potential Solutions

Andrew Leon Hanna

Abstract


In the face of record levels of youth unemployment and starkly unequal opportunities to climb the socioeconomic ladder, young people are facing difficult challenges. From early childhood to young adulthood, there are several key obstacles to socioeconomic mobility that emerge. These include availability of early childhood education, level of peer support during adolescence, secondary school funding and quality, and skills development and job matching as a young adult. This article explores the dynamics of these critical obstacles, analyzes initiatives that are successfully helping young people overcome these obstacles around the world, and makes policy suggestions to create a society in which young people have strong opportunities to fulfill their potentials and advance socioeconomically. The article focuses on the state of socioeconomic mobility of young people in the United States, drawing on examples of successful models from all over the globe.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2015.420

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