Forced-Unionism States’ Young-Adult Population Virtually Stagnant Since 1980 Meanwhile, 33% Increase in Right to Work States

One key advantage that the United States enjoys over other wealthy countries in Europe and Asia is that the number of young adults in the American workforce has increased in recent decades, albeit at a pace substantially slower than our country’s overall population growth. In 1980, there were 37.076 million 25-34 year olds living in the U.S. By 2009, the most recent year for which age-specific state population data are available, the number of American residents in the same age bracket had climbed to 41.566 million. That amounts to a 12.1% increase.

Economists and ordinary citizens alike understand it is far easier for a country or region to promote sustained growth with the help of an expanding pool of potential workers, rather than through productivity increases alone. As the U.S. economy faces a number of serious challenges over the next few decades, the fact that our young-adult population has grown significantly since 1980 and is projected to continue growing in the future will be a key point in our favor.

However, the benefits of a growing young labor force are not being evenly distributed among the 50 states. Even as the total U.S. adult population aged 25-34 increased by 12.1% from 1980 to 2009, the number of young adults fell in nearly half of the states, and in a number of cases the declines were steep.

20110426 Young Adult Population Stagnant — fact sheet.pdf 211.7 KB