Vulnerable Youth and the Transition to Adulthood


Urban Institute

Eight new research briefs on youth transitions to early adulthood are now available and include two unexpected findings: 1. Among low-income youth, whites engage in riskier behavior than blacks but still have a higher average annual income after high school, and  2. Among minority youth, second-generation Latinos make the most successful transition into early adulthood.

One of the briefs, which focused on low-income African American youth – with low-income defined as below twice the federal poverty level – showed this group is less likely than low-income white youth to use alcohol by age 13, sell drugs, steal less than $50, destroy property and run away. African Americans did show a higher proclivity than whites to have sex before age 16.

The Urban Institute, an independent organization that researches economic, social and civic issues, based its research on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey that followed a sample of youth from 1997 to 2005. 

Free, 45 pages. (202) 261-5283,




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