Beyond the statistics | OP-ED
Two recently released data points show how gun violence and lack of jobs affects U.S. youth.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The University of Michigan recently released some disturbing statistics. It shows that the first cause of death among children and teenagers in the United States is related to firearms. In 2020, 4,300 young people under 19 were killed by firearm-related injuries. It is the first time that guns occupied that place, surpassing car crashes.
In its conclusions, the University reviewed information published two weeks ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among 45,222 Americans who died under these conditions, 4,300 were young people, between homicides and suicides. Homicides increased 33.4% compared to 2019. For suicides, the rise was 1.1%.
This macabre ranking is followed by traffic accidents, with 3,900 deaths, and drug overdoses, with 1,700.
Gun-related deaths are not out of the ordinary, but they are a concern in a country where the Constitution guarantees the carrying of firearms, and around 400 million guns are in circulation. Although there are many cases of massacres or individual actors, the possibility of restrictions remains unchanged, with the firm and powerful opposition of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The other recent worrying fact is related to youth employment. A survey conducted by Intellugent.com and referred by bloomberglinea.com warns that 25% of young university graduates over 25 are not working in fields related to what they studied. The same proportion earns less than $30,000 per year.
According to the survey, conducted among 1,000 young people, in terms of salaries, there is a deep inequality depending on what they study in college. For example, careers related to engineering, business, and information technology earn up to $90,000 per year. That was gathered from 40% of the people surveyed, who studied in these fields.
In contrast, more than 40% of those who chose professions related to social sciences, education, and communications reported an annual income of around $45,000.
With these figures in mind, inflation and elevated higher education costs must be considered, which in the private sector can be $38,000 per year in just tuition=. In February, a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center revealed that since mid-2019, undergraduate enrollment in universities fell by 6.6%. This means that more than a million young people did not enroll in college, exacerbated by the pandemic.
The causes of death among young people and their conditions to study and work form the puzzle of what is happening in the United States, which must be attended to prevent major crises.