The Youth of New Orleans are some of the most at-risk and underserved in the nation. According to the Data Center's December 2015 New Orleans Youth Index report, 43.8 percent of children below the age of 18 live below poverty level. Youth in New Orleans are two times more likely to drop out of school without a high school diploma than youth elsewhere in Louisiana and four times more likely than youth living in other parts of the United States; and according to the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, 15 percent of teenagers in Orleans Parish between the ages of 16-19 are not in school and are not working. According to a March 2011 Bureau of Justice Assistance report, over 50 percent of convicted murderers in New Orleans were 23 years or younger, a majority (56 percent) were noted as having no gainful employment. Louisiana's teen-death rate has risen by 11 percent since 2000 and nearly half of teen homicide victims in Louisiana reside in New Orleans.
On January 7, 2016, the City Council approved a Special Committee for Youth Services and Empowerment pursuant to Council Rule 38 to consider, review and make recommendations to the Council on these issues, particularly on programming, funding, legislation and other necessary and appropriate actions related to improving the lives and outcomes for youth from birth to early adulthood.
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