Report: Young parents face education and income gaps

About 22,000 Idaho parents are 18 to 24 years old — and they are as likely to be high school dropouts as they are likely to hold a college degree.

The Boise nonprofit Idaho Voices for Children outlined the challenges of young parents — and their children — in research released Tuesday. The Idaho numbers came out in conjunction with a national report on young parents, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit.

Some salient Idaho numbers:

  • Only 13 percent of Idaho’s young parents have an associate’s degree or higher. Meanwhile, 13 percent of young parents lack a high school diploma or GED.
  • Latino young adults are more likely to start families at a young age. Twenty-one percent of Latinos who are 18 to 24 years old have children, compared to 13 percent of white adults in the same age group.
  • In all, 25,000 Idaho children have parents who are 18 to 24 years old.
  • Children with young parents are more likely to live in poverty. Sixty-two percent of these children live in low-income households, compared to 45 percent of all Idaho children. However, this poverty issue is even more acute nationally; 69 percent of children with young parents live in low-income households.

“Young parents face multiple obstacles to achieving their goals,” said Christine Tiddens, community outreach director for Idaho Voices for Children. “These obstacles threaten not only young parents, but also their children, setting off a chain of weakened opportunities for Idaho’s future generations.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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