80% of NYers Say Young People are Likely to Graduate High School

Glasses and research

80% of NYers Say Young People are Likely to Graduate High School;  Only 53% See College Diploma in Their Future
Majority See Young People Having Access to Health Care, Living in a 2-Parent Home; Only 39 Percent See a Job with Opportunities as Likely

Surprisingly High Number See Drugs & Alcohol, Having an Incarcerated Relative, & Being in a Gang in Cards for Many Young New Yorkers

On Most Life Chances, Wide Gap Between Perceptions of White NYers and NYers of Color

Loudonville, NY – Statewide, 80 percent of New Yorkers say the typical young person in their neighborhood is “almost certain” or “very likely” to graduate from high school, while only 53 percent expect them to graduate college.  Fifty-two percent predict young people will have access to good quality health care, and 51 precent say they will live in a two-parent home, according to a new Siena College Poll of New Yorkers released today.

At the same time, only 39 percent of New Yorkers say it is “almost certain” or “very likely” that a young person from their neighborhood will get a job with opportunities for advancement, while nearly 3 out of 10 say that is “not very likely” or “not at all likely.”

“In this unique set of questions in which New Yorkers describe the state of our state by predicting the life chances they see for young people in their community, we find that most expect young people to graduate from high school, but no more than half believe it likely that the kids they see day in and day out will get a college degree, and fewer than four in ten see a good job in their future,” said Dr. Don Levy, Director of SRI.

Across New York, 38 percent of people say it is “almost certain” or “very likely” that a typical young person will abuse drugs or acohol, while 23 percent say the same about having an incarcerated family member, and 14 percent say it is likely that the typical young person in their neighborhood will be in a gang.

“Among African-American and Hispanic New Yorkers negative life chances including gang membership, drug and alcohol abuse and having a family member incarcerated are seen as significantly higher for local youth and prospects for positive events – graduations and good jobs – are somewhat lower than among white New Yorkers.  Only seven percent of white residents believe it very likely or almost certain that the typical local youth will be in a gang but among Blacks and Hispanics 33 percent think gang membership is at least very likely,” said Levy.

This Siena College Poll was conducted June 1-28, 2015 by telephone calls conducted in English to 811 New York State residents.  Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household.  It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample provided by Survey Sampling International of landline and cell phone telephone numbers from within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data was statistically adjusted by age, region, gender and race/ethnicity to ensure representativeness.   The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information or comments, please call Dr. Don Levy, SRI’s Director, at 518-783-2362.


Press release