Dear friends and colleagues, 
We are ending this year of reflection with a final report on our most valuable residents - the chidren. The New Orleans Youth Index is a statistical snapshot of the well-being of New Orleans children/youth, designed to inform the development of goals and strategies that can improve outcomes for children/youth age 0 to 24.
When you compare data on New Orleans youth with data for the state of Louisiana and/or the U.S., you will see that New Orleans youth appear to be doing better than the state or the U.S. in only a few select areas. In most other areas, New Orleans youth are faring worse.
 Highlights include:
  • New Orleans has fewer cases of alleged abuse and neglect per 1,000 children than Louisiana statewide - 13 cases of alleged abuse and neglect per 1,000 children, compared to 23 statewide. But New Orleans is doing worse on immunization rates, physical activity, infant mortality, and low birthweight. For example, 9.3 infants per 1,000 born in New Orleans die in the first year of life compared to 8.7 for Louisiana and 6.0 for the United States.

  • The share of 18-24 years olds without a high school diploma in New Orleans, at 13.1 percent, is on par with the nation and lower than Louisiana, where 19.2 percent lack a diploma. New Orleans has a similar rate of unemployment for 16-24 year olds to Louisiana and the nation. However, New Orleans is faring worse on parental employment rates and overall child poverty. As of 2014, fully 43.8 percent of New Orleans children under 18 were in poverty compared to 27.9 percent in Louisiana and 21.7 percent nationwide. 

  • New Orleans has experienced measurable progress on all indicators associated with learning, including third grade English language arts, third-eighth grade English and math scores, truancy, cohort graduation, and 2- and 4-year college enrollment. However, New Orleans remains below Louisiana on all these measures except 2-year college enrollment.

  • New Orleans is faring worse on suspension rates than Louisiana with 87 percent of all suspensions being out-of-school compared to 39 percent statewide. And while 18-24 year olds make up 10 percent of the New Orleans total population, they account for nearly 30 percent of the homicide victims.
John F. Kennedy once said that “Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” We hope that this Index is used to identify and commit to strategies to protect and nurture all children because they are our most valuable resource.
See more at: 

The Data Center team 
Vicki Mack, Allison Plyer, Caroline Heffernan, and Nihal Shrinath


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