New Census Analytics Reveal Poverty in Tucson is Up For Young Adults, But At Least We Aren't Living with Our Parents

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If you're 18 to 34 in Tucson, we have some good news and some bad news. - BILL MORROW/ FLICKR
  • Bill Morrow/ Flickr
  • If you're 18 to 34 in Tucson, we have some good news and some bad news.

The United States Census Bureau is offering an analytic tool called "Social Explorer," which gives insight on demographic information for 18 to 34 year olds in major metropolitan areas. According to the tool, there's some good news for Tucson and some not so good news.

Starting off with the good stuff, Tucson, when compared to the U.S. as a whole, is more diverse. With both a larger minority population and more bilingual homes or homes in which a language other than English is spoken, Tucson also has a white (non-hispanic) population around 50 percent whereas the rest of the country is at about 60 percent. Tucson also boasts a higher veteran population, a larger percentage of young adults living alone, and less YAs living with their parents.

For many factors, such as the number of people never having been married or those who drive to work, Tucson is about on par with the rest of the country. However, since the 90s, Tucson has had a higher instance of unemployment for young adults with a little over 60 percent of 18 to 34 year olds in town being employed from 2009 to 2013 compared to 65 percent in the nation.

Median earnings for full-time workers in that age range in the city has been declining. Currently that number is hovering at about $31,000, while nationally it's closer to $34,000. Comparatively, Tucson in 1980 was near the current national median. Tucson also ranks lower than the national average in young adults with Bachelor's degrees. 

Unfortunately, all of that amounts to Tucson having one of the highest poverty rates for young adults in the country. According to The Atlantic, when compared to other metropolitan areas in the nation, Tucson has the fifth highest poverty rate for that age range at 27.19 percent. The census categorizes poverty rates as the number of young adults whose income in the past 12 months was below the current poverty level, which is about $12,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Although it seems for the most part like a grim outlook for young adults, we at least all have some solid statistical ammo to fire back with during Christmas dinner when we get wrapped up in another "millennials are lazy" discussion— not that that's much consolation. 

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