Analysis finds that NJ is 2nd best state to grow up
New Jersey ranks second lowest among states with youth most at-risk, according to an analysis by personal finance website WalletHub.
Nationally, about 1 in 9 young adults are neither working nor in school, exposing them to greater risk of poverty and violence.
But New Jersey gets high marks for education, employment and low poverty and homelessness rates among youth.
New Jersey ranked the best when it came to health, everything from the share of overweight and obese youth to the youth using drugs in the past month, those with depression or those physically, emotionally or mentally inhibited.
When it comes to education, New Jersey has one of the best public school systems in the country. Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez said that's why there is not a lot of youth without a high school diploma.
Gonzalez said more students in New Jersey are scoring at or above their 8th grade math or reading proficiency levels. Because of a more educated youth, she said she sees the labor force participation is higher among that age group.
But there is one category where New Jersey could be doing better: Youth ages 18 to 24 report heavy drinking in the past year.
Utah is the state with the least at-risk youth especially when it comes to low drug and alcohol use. Gonzalez attributed that to the state's large Mormon population. New Jersey is followed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Minnesota.
Louisiana has the highest at-risk youth followed by Washington, D.C., Arkansas, Alaska and Mississippi.
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