Opportunity Youth

Percent of 16-24 year olds in Arizona that are NOT going to school or working.


2021 1-year Public Use Microdata Series (PUMS) person file for Arizona from U.S. Census Bureau

Included in this number

Arizona residents aged 16-24, inclusive, who are neither working or attending school.

Not included in this number

Those outside the age range and those working or attending school. Those living in group quarters are excluded from poverty measures because their income is not calculated for the poverty statistic.

In brief

Opportunity Youth refers to people aged 16 through 24 who are neither working nor in school. PUMS data for 2021 was filtered to include only people within this age range, and this population was checked against both school enrollment and worker status to determine the percentage of Opportunity Youth.

Detailed methods

The data set was filtered to include only those between the ages of 16 and 24, inclusive. The Employment Status Recode (ESR) variable in the PUMS data was recoded into a new variable, ESR_Worker. This new variable takes on the value of zero for those who are listed as unemployed or not in the workforce. All other values, including civilians working and those in the armed forces, are coded as 1.

The PUMS variable SCH indicates whether the person has attended school within the last 3 months or is in public or private school. A dichotomous variable InSchool was created to convey school attendance status.

The variables ESR_Worker and InSchool were combined to create a new dichotomous variable Disconnected which identified those who are neither in school nor working.

For more on the processing of this data, please see the sections on PUMS Data and Survey Data.

Important note about 2020 data Opportunity Youth data are derived from the American Community Survey (ACS). The 2020 ACS was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other conditions that prevented the normal collection and interpretation of Census data. Abnormal variation in the data could not be satisfactorily corrected with experimental weightings, therefore the 2020 data is not included. However, those issues are resolved with the 2021 data, which are included.

For more information about the 2020 data issues, read this post by the US Census Bureau.