Idle Youth In Detroit


I chose to analyze for this post the percent of children between the ages of 16 and 19 that are not in school or working. The sociological term for these children are “idle youth”. These youth are not contributing to the community and often are involved in gangs or criminal activities. The question I have is not what are these kids up to? I haven’t the slightest clue what they could be doing. I ask why is Detroit such a high percentage? I mean 18 percent is quite high. At first I thought it was a sample size issue. Maybe the surveyors only talked to idle youth in Detroit, unable to reach those at work or in school. Perhaps a city of greater size would yield a similar percentage. A larger city would have a greater sample size and yield a more accurate percentage amount. I was wrong, the city of Los Angeles was almost 10 percent lower than Detroit. Even though it is a much larger city. I then thought maybe LA is a fluke. It is an immensely larger city , maybe there are more aware of this issue and fund programs there to help youth find jobs or school opportunities. I was sure the national average would be higher than LA but lower than Detroit. I was wrong again. The national average sits right next to LA at a steady 9%. I was coming to the end of my rope. I was dumbfounded at how Detroit could be so I did a quick news search about youth in Detroit. I found an article stating that due to budget cuts and citywide bankruptcy, the city was going to collaborate police precincts and consolidate bus routes. Eureka! I figured it out. The youth of Detroit are idle because they can be. If you look at LA, not a perfect city by any means, but they’re not broke, they aren’t consolidating police precincts and the public transportation seems to be in working order. In Detroit the police are more concentrated in some areas but not in others and there is less public transportation to take youths to work and school. This makes it difficult for youths to get to work or school, but easier for them to loiter around. These hardships easily explain why this statistic is so high in Detroit.


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