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Youth Misery Index Supersizes Under Obama Administration

The Young America’s Foundation revealed this week that the Youth Misery Index is at a record high of 106.5, up eight percentage points from 2013. YAF calculates the chart each year by adding youth unemployment, student loan debt, and national debt per capita. The YMI has inflated more under President Obama than any other commander-in-chief, increasing by 53.7 percent under his leadership.


“Millennials should take notice of this study and realize that this is not quite the hope and change they desired. President Obama has been the WORST president for youth economic opportunity,” YAF spokesperson Ashley Pratte told Townhall. “Spending is out of control and our generation will have to bare the brunt of that massive national debt.”

According to the study (emphasis added):

Youth unemployment in 2014 was 18.1 percent (18.1 on YMI), with almost six million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 not in school or work. Many young people are simply giving up on finding employment.

Student loan debt for 2014 rings in at a record-breaking $30,000 (30.0 on YMI). Student debt has risen at an average of six percent per year since 2008, and today, 70% of college seniors graduate with student loan debt. In addition, the job market still hasn’t recovered, leaving many recent graduates with little or no income to pay back their loans.

National debt per capita for 2014 is the highest it’s ever been at $58,437 (58.4 on YMI). Young people will be stuck paying for government debt they had no part in creating, and they’ll have to do it with less discretionary income than ever before because of record high levels of student loan debt.

Millennials' lives are being put on hold. For many, the lackluster economy is dragging the American dream of a family, home and white picket fence through the mud.


A recent report by the Joint Economic Committee found that 18 to 34-year-olds are still heavily burdened in the wake of the recession. Due to this, they are more likely than previous generations to live at home and to delay economic mobility tools such as home ownership and marriage.

With a constant need to juggle student loan debts, and hampered by staggering unemployment rates, most millennials are hardly situated to head a household let alone to help grow the size of America’s wealth.

“Even if the economy significantly recovers and young people are provided with job opportunities this generation will suffer major setbacks,” Pratte predicted. “Currently millennials aren’t saving or investing which will have huge economic implications. This administration has created little to no opportunity for millennials and has greatly impacted our economy.”

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