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.
- There are 1.3 million children and youth (age 0-17) living in Minnesota, or 23 percent of the state's population.
- Since 2010, Minnesota has seen a one percent decline in its population of young children (0-4). Population decline among our state's youngest since 2010 has occurred among non-Hispanic white children, but not among children of color. Still, growth in our population of young children of color has only been slight over the last six years.
- Children and youth are more racially and ethnically diverse than our population as a whole. Thirty percent of Minnesota's youth (0-19) are children of color, compared to 19 percent of all residents.
- 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.
- Sixty percent of students reported they feel connected to a caring adult in the community, such as a teacher, coach, mentor or youth worker.
- 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 (79% of 5th graders compared to 50% 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. When we look at the data by racial and ethnic group, 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 two thirds.
Today's children and youth are very different from the older generations in our state. Learn more about academic outcomes in our Education section. Outside of school, many teens work and/or volunteer.