Fifteen percent of young people in America are not working or in school, according to a new report.
That's nearly 6 million people ages 16 to 24 who are basically sitting idle, The Opportunity Nation coalition says in the study released Monday.
Without education through work or school, these young adults are much more likely to earn lower salaries and become a drain on their communities, according to the report.
"This is not a group that we can write off. They just need a chance," Mark Edwards, the coalition's executive director, told The Associated Press. "The tendency is to see them as lost souls and see them as unsavable. They are not."
The study looked at 16 factors -- such as college graduation rates, Internet access and income inequality -- to identify the states where young people are thriving the most, according to Time magazine.
Vermont, Minnesota and North Dakota topped the list. Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico came in last.