Goal: All children and youth will have caring relationships, enrichment activities, and the investment from their communities to grow into a successful adulthood.

Children and youth require love, guidance, and resources, yet they also contribute immensely to our communities. As they grow, many care for siblings, assist neighbors, work, and volunteer. Outside of school, many also participate in enrichment activities such as sports, arts, community service, mentoring, and religious activities. As youth take on these roles, they discover and hone skills they will use now and as adults – in advanced education, employment, civic engagement, and family life. However, not all children have equal family resources, connections with other caring adults, or access to quality enrichment activities to help guide them on their paths to adulthood.

What's happening

  • Minnesota's child population is far more diverse than the immediately preceding generations, including many children of immigrants. The number of Hispanic children in Minnesota has nearly quadrupled since 1990. Of all the Black children in our state, 43 percent have a foreign-born parent.
  • Just over half of students were connected to a caring adult in the community – such as a teacher, coach, mentor or youth worker – in 2013.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to report this connection to caring adults in fifth grade, though boys are likelier to report this connection in later grade. Younger students are more likely to report this connection than older students (77% of 5th graders compared to 48% of 11th graders).
  • Just under two-thirds of students in Minnesota participate in enrichment activities (such as sports, arts, mentoring, religious activities, or community education) three times a week or more. Yet, only half of Hispanic, American Indian and Asian students are highly engaged in these out-of-school time activities. For black, multiracial, and white students, participation is closer to three in five.
  • At a glance, Minnesota's youth comprise somewhat more boys than girls. Three percent were born in another country. Looking closer, twelve percent of black children and youth were born outside the U.S., as were eight percent of Hispanic children and youth and twenty-one percent of Asian children and youth.

Making connections

Learn more about academic outcomes in our Education section. Outside of school, many teens work and/or volunteer. Today's children and youth are very different from the older generations in our state.


Minnesota's school-age youth make up a large portion of our state's residents – almost 1 million people. Put another way – we’d need a fleet of nearly 13,000 school buses to get all those kids off to school at once. Here are a few things to know about youth across the state.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
Led by Wilder Research

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