Tags: misery | index | youth | obama

Youth Misery Index: Young Americans Suffering More Under Obama

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Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 02:21 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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Despite voting for President Barack Obama in record numbers in both 2008 and 2012, American youth are more miserable than ever, according to the nonprofit Young America's Foundation.

The organization, founded at Vanderbilt University in 1969, developed the Youth Misery Index in 1993, which adds youth unemployment and average college loan debt figures with each person's share of the national debt.

Since Obama's tenure in office, it has skyrocketed by 18.1 percent, from 83.5 percent in 2009 to 98.6 percent in 2013, according to the data.

The economy is marginalizing young people and impeding their ability to support themselves, Ashley Pratte, program officer for Young America's Foundation, told The College Fix.

"They're still living in their parent's basements, unable to find full-time jobs that pay them what they need in order to pay back their debt," she said.

According to the organization's website, "youth unemployment is at 16.3 percent — one of the highest levels since World War II" and "average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $29,400. National debt per capita is $52,948 — the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 98.6 (16.3 + 29.4 + 52.9 = 98.6)."

When President George W. Bush left office in 2008, the index was 69.3, according to The College Fix. The first Youth Misery Index in 1993 measured 53.1, the year President Bill Clinton took office.

The youth vote was largely responsible for helping Obama win office in both 2008 and 2012. In 2012, 60 percent of young people voted for him, down 6 points from 2008, when 66 percent of voters under age 30 cast their ballots for Obama, according to polling data from Tufts University and Pew Research.

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