Information about children's lives across varied settings better prepares policymakers who seek lasting and effective educational change. To understand when, where, and how changes can be made in the educational process, we must examine the large context in which children live and learn. Youth Indicators is a statistical compilation of data on the world of young people which comprises family structure, economic factors, jobs, extracurricular activities, and several dozen other elements. These data present a composite of the youth experience, highlighting connections that might otherwise be missed between experiences inside and outside of school.
Much of the data in this publication is central to long-term policy debates on education issues. Where possible, trend data are provided as an historical context for interpretation. It is hoped that policymakers and analysts who use these data will send comments to the National Center for Education Statistics, identifying the areas where further information is needed or the data are lacking. Good statistical reporting typically provides precise, though limited, information related to policy issues; good statistical reporting usually leads to many new questions.
Emerson J. Elliott
National Center for Education Statistics
Table of Contents Acknowledgments