Top 10 Issues Facing Our Youth Today


Now that we are well into the new Millennium society has begun to recognize serious concerns with issues that kids have to deal with today. Some issues have always been there but are now coming to the eyes of the public to find solutions. Other issues are new trends as society begins to adapt to a faster pace of life. Below are the top 10 issues facing our youth today. Add your suggestions to the comments. What do you think are the major issues facing the young people today?

10. Single Parent Households

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The problems begin at home. Since the 1950s

, the number of single parent homes has consistently increased to the point of catastrophe. Today, 14 million single parents are responsible for 28 million children. Raising a child is difficult enough in a two parent home, especially in tough economic conditions.

The situation is even direr when there is only one parent. Economically, a single parent is likely to bring less income home. This equates to fewer opportunities for such vital necessities as education. Trying to make ends meet also takes time – time that is spent away from children who need a parent’s guiding/influence. Absent a parent’s diligent guidance, children become subject to higher dropout rates, higher risk of dangerous sexual behaviors and pregnancies, higher chances of drug and alcohol abuse –etc. It truly takes a village to raise a child.

9. Drug/Alcohol Abuse

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There was a time in cinematic history where virtually every actor/actress was portrayed on screen with a cigarette in hand. Smoking, it was implied, was cool. As a result everyone was doing it, including kids. Well, as awareness to the danger of smoking increased, “cool” images of smoking disappeared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about drugs and alcohol. These vices are staples in everyday media. Simply, drinking and using drugs is shown as being cool.

The numbers bear the tale. 21% of high school seniors say they get high and 41% of the same group report drinking alcohol. Our kids are literally moving around in an intoxicated daze. Immature behavior is then amplified due to being under the influence. Drunk driving, poor grades and attendance, anti-social and violent behavior and the list goes on.

8. Growing up too Fast

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There was a time when kids enjoyed being kids. Today, even at the earliest of ages, children are partaking in adult activities with serious consequences. Similar to what we see with alcohol and drugs, sex is a very popular and portrayed subject matter. The movies, TV, the internet, essentially everywhere a kid turns he or she is bombarded with sexual suggestions.

In fact, there are entire TV series marketed directly to kids dealing with sex – the egregious being The Secret Lives of an American Teenager and Teen Mom, to name two. Music is a culprit as well. Songs have always had sexual innuendos, but at least “back in the day” you had to be old enough to understand them. Today, it’s all about “How low can you go” and “baby let me sex you up.” Kids are having sex as early as 10 and 11, with teen pregnancies increasingly on the rise. The concept of childhood is literally being wiped out.

7. Violence in Schools

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A child’s education is the foundation from which he or she will be able to go forth out into the world and build a life. Schools play a major role in this endeavor, and therefore it is reasonable to expect that these places of learning would be safe havens for the children while they are preparing for adulthood. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In many instances, especially in low income, urban settings, schools can be a war zone. We are not talking about minor bullying, but rather serious violence. Consider that in the last decade 284 kids were murdered due to school violence – these were shootings, stabbings, fighting and suicides. Growing up is tough enough without having to be worried about being killed while going to math class.

6. Materialism

i'm still not happy


We live in a society that promotes materialism and so we perpetuate this particular malady by instilling bad habits into our children. We teach our children that the measure of success and happiness in life is how much stuff you have. Kids naturally want things –especially if their friends have something similar. Unfortunately, there seems to be little restraint on accompanying guidance as we go about this.

Essentially, we provide our kids with whatever they want that is within our financial ability to do so. The concept of “earning” what you get or the idea that something “you don’t need” seem to have been lost and discarded. Is there really any wonder why the average adult is $15,000 in debt at any given time? We have a mentality of getting what we want and when we want it that has been ingrained in us since childhood. The unfortunate result is that there are devastating consequences for such continued behavior later in life.

5. Obesity

Our kids are fat and getting fatter. Recent numbers show that 20% of American children are obese. Not chubby –OBESE! Video games, TV, the internet and fast food are partly to blame. Kids are spending more time sitting in front of a TV/computer screen than running around outside. This sedentary lifestyle has consequences.

Socially, it’s no secret that overweight kids are going to be subject to ridicule from their peers – it’s sad, but nevertheless true. This can result in such issues as low self-esteem, depression, etc. Then there are the health concerns. High blood pressure, diabetes and other maladies that is associated with obesity. Psychologically and physically, obesity is an issue that can be resolved with a simple increase in activity and awareness.

4. Education Disparity

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Education is important. Few people would dispute this well regarded fact. A good education (in comparison with a bad one) will provide a child with an increased chance of taking advantage of opportunities to be successful in life. Unfortunately, some people have it better than other. This is not an issue of just one school being better than another school. Rather we are talking about whole classes of American children being denied a proper education that will prepare them to compete in a job market with their peers and have the same access to the American Dream.

Disparity in educational quality is delineated by race and financial status. If you live in a poor neighborhood or are a minority, there is a good chance that the schools you attend are lacking many necessities. While Asians and Whites enjoy high graduating rates, African American and Latinos continue to lag behind. Not surprisingly, because job opportunities are lessen for dropouts, these two groups have the highest incarceration rates.

3. Shifting Economy

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America used to sustain itself with making its own products through manufacturing and then turning around and selling those products. The economy is shifting to more of a service industry versus a manufacturing industry. In order to cut costs and keep product prices down companies are forced to outsource manufacturing to other countries. Other countries can produce products at much lower labor costs. Some companies have even begun to outsource call center jobs to keep labor costs down. Not only is America now having lower paying service jobs than the average blue-collar job with a sustainable income but our economy is now a global economy.

For example, what happens in Japan or Iraq can drastically alter prices for our stock exchanges, gas/oil, and many other products. What exactly does this mean for our youth? The youth cannot graduate or even dropout of school without going through the pains of a low-income job. The jobs offered with no experience pay very little with very little room for pay increases. In fact, the competition to get a promotion can be fierce. In the past, your high school senior could graduate and go work at the local factory for the rest of his or her life and make a good living. They would not necessarily need to have a college education to survive. In fact, youth today will graduate from college with multiple degrees and still cannot find work that pays enough to sustain a decent lifestyle.

2. Poverty

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The federal poverty level is $22,050 for a family of four. This equates to 21% of all children (15 million children) are considered in poverty. Just to cover basic expenses for a family of four you would need to have a salary of $45,000. This means that nearly 50% of our children are living in poverty. Half of those kids receive no government assistance because their parents earned more than $22,050 that year. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.

Poverty impedes learning and contributes to social and behavioral problems. And guess what? There is no income to counteract these problems. Mommy cannot afford a tutor or Daddy cannot afford a counselor. There is a huge opportunity for society to stop being so materialistic and in turn poverty wouldn’t be such an issue because most children will all have the same things –things they need instead of what they want. This would decrease violence in schools because fewer kids would be teased.

1. Erosion of National Pride/Identity

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If every year the Olympics were held, this probably wouldn’t be a problem. This list is indicative of the fact that America (like any nation) has problems. The issue at hand is collective though amongst the people affected about how to deal with them. Unfortunately most folks tend to focus on their self and not the whole. We see these problems as affecting “them” and not “me/us” When we hear that America’s children are the fattest among Western nations, this doesn’t sting. When we learn that America’s children lay educationally behind other industrialized nations, we don’t cringe.

There is very little sense of collective identity of people, as Americans. This is a result of our children not being properly educated and guided. There was a time when every child would begin the school day by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Children were taught the significance of the 4th of July (besides fireworks). These practices are long gone and so is our sense of common destiny. With so many diverse nationalities, races, and ethnic groups that comprise America, the one common bond we all have with one another is that we are Americans.

The Future Isn't All Bleak
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  1. #4 is a little racist. Just because your African american or Latino and you attend a predominantly minority school doesn’t mean you are receiving a poor education. I went to a predominantly African american school and I graduated from college. Getting ready to get my masters. Predominantly minority schools have great curriculums also! The author of this article clearly didn’t attend a predominantly minority school and is writing some of this article based of opinion. He / she didnt even include any statistics to suport their claim


      “Your” should be “you’re”, oh wise one.

  2. Muhammad Umair on

    I have read the article it is informative to some extent. I’m trying to figure those problem’s of societies that can be turned into a lucrative business. If any one of you have any thoughts in your mind regarding this then kindly let me know. I just want to contribute to make the society more comfortable.
    Hope to see your responses soon. 🙂
    Muhammad Umair


      Kill fat kids and sell them as food to the starving. You can call it SOYLENT GREEN.

      Oh, and….


  3. 10. why the hell you guys can’t live together. too many single means you guys are not compatible with each other. Which says about your mind set (not judging all though). but think about it , other nations where people are together despite their problems – do you think you have bigger brains than them?.
    9. Well. you guys do it every BS – and tag it with name freedom. i heard that few places started allowing drugs legally. if parental control was their – they will never leave children to this. nope , you gave that control to business and entertainment.
    8. Too much bad is given in the name of modern things. If you question , they will say hey that’s the way world is now as if the world is some where else. it’s just you and me.
    7. Violence – the same issue . more concentration is given to partying then how your child is growing mentally. for this also they won’t agree- hey , i love my kid, i am the best parent – who is not? – but see how your kid ended up.
    6. more people are thinking stock market then how your brother/friend is in life. market is for the people . you made people for the market. – they wont agree – hey that’s how the market atmosphere is – well, who created it – some other american similar to you.
    5. Take away and packed items are made fashion – Enjoy sitting and eating. – if you question they say – your hurting your child feeling – Enjoy the disaster.
    4. The better culture – the better home – the better planning in life – the better support & care to child. In the name of freedom you destroyed that too.
    2&3. Well , you are better in this than most of the countries.
    1. No comments.

    Bring the sensitivity back to your life on how to decide what freedom is and what is not. the question should not be on freedom , it should be on what works better and what will not. For small Ex. A child is a fresh life- it is a beautiful thing , a wonderful thing. you should do what ever you can to make it grow properly – he/she will pass on the same to next Gen (again don’t confuse single can do better – may be single can but a bicycle needs 2 good wheels – if 1 wheel , it still runs but it is called circus (2 good wheels)). again saying today’s kids are next gen parents. if they are bad that means you didn’t raise them properly to handle life.

  4. Malish Noel Scopas on

    The problem that are affecting youth today is civil wars especially in the African continent, child soldier recruitment, subjection to untold suffering, forceful early marriages, poor formal education, living a refugee

  5. mohammed omar on

    Also for my side the major problem facing youth is:
    1)peer apresure and influece
    2)early mariage
    3)Force mariage
    And othets………

  6. Mr. Anderson on

    Also, I respect those that put in the time and effort into writing the posts on this website. Some points I may not agree with, but I understand the person and where they are coming from.

  7. Mr. Anderson on

    In regards to my previous ten points, this is mostly my own opinion and my observations. I don’t mean to sound argumentative, though I can come across as sounding that way… but if any of this offends you, that’s your own choice and you’ve chosen to accept offense. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you embrace feeling offense at something.

    One other point, I know there are some that would point out spelling/grammar errors in my posts. For those, I apologize… but you still understand my point.

  8. Mr. Anderson on

    2. There are so many times where I see someone that is a poster-child for poverty and notice that they have smart-phones, expensive shoes, video game consoles, and a lot of things that they have no business buying if they can’t afford food and clothes. They can survive without video games, but the same can’t be said about food or shelter. If people would put forth more effort into finding a better job, budgeting their money, making wiser decisions, etc. then life would be a lot easier for them. Every person I’ve known that are in poverty have had at least some of what I mentioned above. I know that isn’t something that’s all across the board… Not everyone is like that and many are legitimately poor. However, those people are drowned out because of the vast majority of selfish people that think they’re impoverished, but actually aren’t.

  9. Mr. Anderson on

    3. This one is also interesting. First off, not to seem argumentative about this, but how are the state-funded high school students not able to graduate “or even dropout of school without going through the pains of a low-income job?” How does the Japanese trading effect the school system’s ability to sustain a student? I’ll leave that for now…

    I love the quote from the Back to the Future shows where George McFly says to Marty that “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything.” This is true. Looking for a job can be difficult, but if you’re in a slow or down economy, you can’t be all that choosy about the work you do. There are so many opportunities people miss out on because they won’t put forth the effort.

    If you’re looking for a better job, great! Take one that you won’t feel bad about leaving as soon as you find something better.

  10. Mr. Anderson on

    4. A reason many of these poor neighborhood schools have lower graduation rates is because many of those minorities that attend them have become lazy and they don’t put forth effort to do what they need to in order to graduate. Another thing is that some people have been raised being told that they’re victims and that if something unfavorable happens, then it’s a sign that they’re being discriminated against. If they don’t put forth their best effort and they fail at an assignment, then they’re supposedly being discriminated against and the world is stacked against them… Does that sound fair? No! If they want to succeed and graduate, get good jobs and have successful lives, they have as much opportunity to do so as the whites or non-minority. They just have to put forth THE SAME AMOUNT OF EFFORT. I’m not saying this to make people angry, but it does bother me that so many people just sit there and complain about their problems and, without saying it, want someone else to fix their life situations and then they get bitter and angry if nobody does.

  11. Mr. Anderson on

    5. Obesity is definitely something that many people struggle with every day, but if you look back on history, you’d notice that as television and fast food became more readily available, people began to tack on the pounds. Maybe the solution would be to… I don’t know… save money by not eating so much fast-food and to stop watching television every single day. People have stopped exercising and walking and have spent far more time inside, watching television or playing video games while eating their favorite snack. This needs to stop.

  12. Mr. Anderson on

    6. It’s true that we live in a world of materialism. That spawns from people not having control over their desires. If they want something, they need to earn it. It says in there, for instance, that parents provide their kids with whatever they want that is within their financial ability to do so. Families would save so much money if they would just wait and not buy their kids something that’s going to go unappreciated in a few weeks anyway. If the child wants something badly enough, they should save up for it until they have enough money, then they should find the item they want for the lowest price without sacrificing the quality, and then check back in a few weeks to see if they actually want the item. The child will earn a greater appreciation for the thing they purchased if they go through this process.

  13. Mr. Anderson on

    7. Violence is always a sad thing. No matter what, you shouldn’t go into a situation expecting to fight someone. Honestly though, it’s funny to see the correlation between good parenting and the lack of violence. The better the parent lives their life, the better the child will be. So many people also are looking to be victims. They say that they’ve been dealt a bad hand and are suffering all the time. For some, it could be the case… but the vast majority of those who claim that don’t actually have it bad and many of their problems are self inflicted. If they just look at their lives and try to see the good, put forth even a little bit of effort to change, their lives would dramatically get better.

  14. Mr. Anderson on

    8. Again, kids face this sort of trial every day, but if they come home to a place free from that, they can see that they should avoid it. Making sure that what you watch is clean makes a huge difference. It makes the life of everyone in that home a lot easier.

  15. Mr. Anderson on

    9. This is definitely a problem that is a problem in our society. Something that can be done to combat this is to raise kids and teach and show them that drugs destroy lives. Want to change the problems in society? We need to look at ourselves and change how we act because WE ARE SOCIETY! In order to help the children of our society, we need to become better parents. Check out this website.

    • AGENT SMITH on

      About #9: I agree with better parenting and honesty with children even on uncomfortable issues. Parents who had a drug history shouldn’t bring that up to their children willy-nilly though, because children will say “my parents did it, I’ll experiment too! What could it hurt? They’re still here!”
      The traditional American anti-drug strategy in families of avoiding the issue and JUST SAY “NO!” worked so well in the 80s, amirite?

  16. Mr. Anderson on

    10. Though I do recognize that this is a problem that our society is facing today, I have a solution that could, in the long run, cut that percentage down drastically. That is this: Don’t have sex until after you are married! It’s stupid to look at a problem and complain about it, yet do nothing about it.

    • AGENT SMITH on

      About #10: Throughout human history, abstinence before marriage has always been hit or miss. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, don’t assume that every single parent did not get married at some point. America is still more conservative than many other nations.

  17. i really enjoyed reading this article about this generation’s top 10 problems in America. I agree with all that was stated. I personally would like to see unity within women. i strongly feel its about time for us ladies to start getting together and using our God given ability to create new solutions and show our children that within each and every one of us is a huge amount of power to make wonders happen. people now a days do not think outside the box, and if they do, they are too afraid to express themselves, too worried about being labeled as weird or wrong or not cool. its rediculous. i myself went through that stage and if it wasnt for the Book of Proverbs, my faith in God, and my belief in Jesus Christ, i would probably still be stuck in a shell of fear. So with that said, I hope to see women, men, and children taking steps to be more of themselves and less of what they think people would want them to be. sincerely, Maria aka Bad Girl for Christ.

  18. I completely agree with all of these factors. Especially education all around being different , that really affects students who try and want to better themselves . It just makes their future harder to get on the ball . I don’t like all of the sexual innuendos the media portrays on TV and the radio to show to children.

  19. If only the youths today would devote themselves to something serious regarding their future, the list mentioned would never have to be written.

  20. i think that this is a good website because it tells what we are facing in life and hopeful we all think about our situation and learn from them and change what we need to change in our lifes

  21. In todays society I have noticed an overwhelming abundance of people of all walks of life who have the most disgracefull or idiotic goals simply due to the people and things alot of the general population idolizes. From todays music to modern television even to the ideals taught in our schools I sadly have no choice but to recognize the terrible truth. That If this set of misguided ideals that leads our world does not change all future generations will be lost to a future where they only have two options, conform and lose all creativity intelegence and ability for free though or stand alone constantly scorned by the what is fast becoming an uneducated and misguided population. One of the more terrifying aspects of this problem stem from the fact that these problems have the ability to throw people of the scent of the real problem. For example sometimes a community will pull itself together to fix a certain issue like drugs in one region however this approch is sadly lacking since it treats the symptoms but not the cause. Due to this we are caught in a never ending spiral of destruction fueled by most people obliviousness to the fact that we have a problem at all. As an experiment I searched a few variations of “whats wrong with our society” and “our society” to see what other peoples views were on the subject. Unfortunatly my worst fears were realized. On youtube for instance all videos in one form or another simply go after the symptoms but wallow in the problem. Alot of the videos made by teenage girls especially simply state why cant we be nice to each other or I cant believe people bully girls over being fat or some such nonsense while those mae by adults or males simply say why dont we go back to the good old days which is the same thing as regression. I hope you can see why this is an issue. The underlying problem to all this is the gold standard of todays children. You will find it is either pop stars or the rich cool guy or girl. They are taught in one way or another that this is the epitome of what something can achieve in their lives. Even with more reasonable goals to have a family and get a good job we find a significant lack of vision. What happened to people who stood of for what they believed in and fought to change and better the world at any cost? Or those who devoted their lives to improving something about society or stuggled to uphold their pride in terrible situations. Im not saying there are none of these people left however this, the true standard of excelence has gone out of style. Without these models of excelence our youth no longer has anything valuable to look up to. They no longer think its possible for them to be truly great and forever help change history. This is because they are too bogged down under years of a combination of these false idols and the incorrect ideals taught in schools. For example every student has been taught in school “be nice” or “make lots of friends” or “be social ” and most importantly “join the group”. Its become clear to be that schools are not educating our students to be leaders or strong individuals capable of self determination. Our system is teaching them to conform. It is teaching them to conform to the very thing I and some other seek to destroy. The false sense that todays rich and famous are worth idolizing. Instead our schools should be teaching look at every situation logically and impartially or choose your friends wisely or if someone is being foolish kindly but firmly advise them otherwise. The Idea that the whole group is good is not possible, that is why our schools ideas about fitting in is a death trap. This is my take on todays situation. Make of it what you will however I implore you to look impartially and see if what im saying has a shadow of truth for I assure you it does.

  22. i feel that the us economy is struggling and the only way to survive is to get a good edeucation. We have to be able to compete with foreign markets.


      @STAN LEE
      Excelsior! LOL

      Your advice would have been applicable in the 70s, but it’s too late to turn back now.

      You suggest that we get good education to “compete with foreign markets”, but how can we compete? America doesn’t produce anything of value anymore.

      America sold itself out when it moved production overseas. The easy target is “evil” corporations, who do have a share of the blame, although the American citizen is the most blame-worthy.

      The false “American Dream” of every generation being more well-off than their parents was a delusional fantasy to begin with. For generations, Americans have wanted their cake and to eat it too: low prices on consumer goods while maintaining ever more high-paying jobs. That is why companies looked to sell out overseas.

      We are now a service economy, making money doing tasks for one another that responsible citizens used to do for themselves. Without producing goods ourselves in any great capacity, how can we compete with foreign nations who have no unions and little worker rights who will work 10-12 hour days for pennies on the dollars of what American workers demand? Silly.

      I did enjoy Spiderman, though, so thanks, Stan!

  23. I have just one issue with your take on drugs and alcohol. Where is your research that says those numbers have gone up since the last, say, 10 years of the drinking age being 18? The reason pot use was so small is because nobody really knew about it in the 50’s and everyone was taught that it was bad for you. That it would destroy your brain. Which, unless you smoke just about every day of your life, won’t really happen. The issue with alcohol use is that kids are drinking from 16 at house parties. When the drinking age was 18, you still probably drank at 16. But, upon turning 18, you and your friends at college could go to a bar where you had somebody cutting you off if you got too drunk and could call you a cab. Now, we have to resort to house parties from about 15/16-22 where we have a hundred people telling us to drink more and more and more and having nobody to stop us from drinking or getting in our own cars instead of a cab. THAT is the issue. It’s not that high school seniors are drinking and smoking. They did that 30 years ago and 20 years ago. And I think that it’s an ignorant and arrogant comment to say that people of your generation didn’t do it in their late teens and early 20’s. The issue is the culture of drinking and the drinking age being way too high.

    • Lee Standberry on

      I don’t think that I wrote or implied that alcohol and drugs did not affect my generation. In fact, they did, more so I believe then in previous generations. I would argue that the problem began to be prevalent with my generation (or maybe about few years earlier with the so-called counter culture revolution of the 70’s). Previous to this, sure you had kids drinking – but it wasn’t something that could be considered a cultural norm at the time and drugs were definitely looked upon as taboo. It wasn’t until we began ‘liberating’ ourselves and these activities were associated with just ‘having a good time’ that we see an increase in their use. All of this is a benefit of being alive long enough to have actually experienced it and seen it with my own eyes.

  24. Just a few questions for the author. I really have to personally agree that most of these items would rank within MY picks for a top 10 list of concerns. I’m just wondering if these are your personal opinions or based on surveys or research? Not a complaint , just wonder if its like my opinion or actually grounded in data?

    • These are my personal opinions Dani, though because some of these issues are pretty self-evident, you will find plenty of data backing the points up. I would say also that there is a cumulative effect taking place, with many other secondary issues that add to the overall problems.

  25. You have GOT to be kidding me! You rank “Erosion of National Pride/Identity” as #1? Thats such a joke!

  26. Philosopher John on

    I think for #1 if anything we have too much National Pride at least for some Americans. The problem is it’s empty pride, it’s the sort of pride that keeps you from dealing with your problems because you are too proud to admit to them. It is pride for its own sake and is exemplified by “if you don’t like it, get out.”

  27. Actualy, children around the rest of the world arentnlosing their patriotism, if anything it’s going up. “Americans” losing their patriotism is a great thing because America is a false nation founded on the graves of the true Americans, the Natives.

  28. I totally blame parents for not installing, manners, compassion and respect in their children. People wants kids like accessories but they don’t want to teach them values and morals. Parents should need a license in order to have kids, take courses before having kids. Also today parents give everything to their kids because they want to be liked, it is more important for a parent to be friends with their kids instead of being parents. You parenting needs to come first instead of friendship.

    I think our world is in a lot of trouble with the kids of today that will be the future.

  29. I have to say. I’ve been seeing a lot of horrible things on the internet lately. In particular in regards to suicide and that girl Amanda Todd. Children are not being properly educated about depression and they do not understand that it is NOT someone’s fault if they have a mental illness. There are so many other skewed perspectives that children/young teens are taking on and it seems that the internet is the perfect breeding ground for it. It allows them to see really bad viewpoints from horrible people which they then emulate. This then passes onto their peers and this opinion of the day becomes internalised by everyone involved because it seems ‘cooler’. Something has to be done because I am seriously concerned about the morality of the next generation!

    • i agree that something needs to be done and we are the ones who need to do it. we all can talk and talk and discuss how SOMEONE needs to do something all day long, however that will not get anything done. we are the people, we must do something. i have been working on a project for quite some time now and i will be posting a presentation on facebook and wherever i can about what i would LIKE TO DO. i hope to get as much feedback and even more People Willing to Help. maria aka bad girl for Christ.

  30. I’ve moved 16 times and I’m only 17. At every school we have always had the pledge played on the announcments (which are now on TVs). The teacher is usually in charge of making the students stand up. I do agree about the pagent shows. I love teen mom but I would only allow 14 and up to watch. I think the media exposure can be regulated by parents though. If you want a channel to be unavailable to them only then you just create a password. I think there should be more kid friendly radio channels. Most of it’s appropriate for teenagers but the little fish should have their own baby pool.

    • Lee standberry on

      Thanks for your comment Kaitlyn. I’m surprised at your comment regarding the pledge. I’m curious to know if the schools you have attended have been in an urban setting or suburban?

  31. As an American expatriate living in Australia, I thought this list was thoughtful.

    While reading the statistics regarding x million single parents, I was indeed surprised to see that the author didn’t mention “in the USA.” Globally, I’m sure this figure is higher. It set my expectation for the remainder of the article to be American-centric though, and as an American citizen, this didn’t bother me much. I chuckled later at the image under poverty because, although I can’t be sure, this looks to be an image from a non-American country with six sickly children on a horse-drawn buggy in a dumpster.

    Nonetheless, I think that several of these things can be attributed to any first-world nation. #1 The erosion of national identity will continue as the democratization of information through technology continues. Keep in mind this is being written by someone who has left America, so how much national pride can I really have? #2 + #3 + #5 with the Global Financial Crisis beginning in the USA, and spreading, it is getting harder to make money and find a job and therefore eat well. The cheapest foods and most comforting are full of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenized vegetable oil. Combine that with #5 (violence) and the fact that kids aren’t allowed to go outside by themselves (#10 single parent) for fear of getting abducted or hurt, yeah kids are getting fat. Why would you go outside when you have all the things (#6 materialism) you want to play with indoors?

    Anyhow, Australia and Europe are getting fatter too, it’s getting harder to find jobs in some nations (Greece, anyone?) and American media is being consumed globally, causing kids from around the world to have to “grow up” too quickly. No wonder kids are turning to drugs and alcohol (#9).

    For a comment that nobody is going to read, I have written too much, however the (#4) Education Disparity is probably the saddest point of them all. It has become so systemically flawed that I hope children can begin to teach themselves, but combined with all the other issues mentioned above, it seems like life will simply go on

    • My thoughts exactly. Get rid of the pictures. Expand on the topics. This is not menial or thought of lightly at least should not be. Especially not in a top ten list. Not a sports illustrated magazine or candy shop per say. Come on. Just saying

  32. I thing the most rapidly growing problem is obesity. Now people with normal weight appears to be the problem!

  33. And you think the worst issue youth is facing today it’s erosion of ‘American’ identity/pride??? Dude you’re close minded!

  34. Keith Watabayashi on

    Wow did you really not mention “population” and “environment”?? What limited thinking.

  35. You can’t blame single parent homes on the problems with youths today. Single parent homes aren’t the problem, it’s parents who just don’t care. I know plenty of single parents homes that have amazing kids, and even more two parent homes that have problem kids. If you give a crap about your kids they’ll be ok, you don’t need two parents.

  36. Well this is all just dreck. There may be a grain of truth to some of your entries–such as materialism and “shifting economy”–but other than that your article is virtually uninformed, dishonest, and racist. A much larger threat to young Americans are those old Americans who idealize their own upbringing in the 1950s and feel as if they “want their country back.”

    Mohan’s comment offers a challenging explanation of how the country came to be in this position in the first place. You’re response: “So I guess you’re not an American, huh?” What a joke.

    Consider this–following your logic, mid-century American life provides us with some kind of national ideal. 60 years later, your argument implies, we’ve reached a point where our culture is nearly antithetical to this ideal. If the country has been declining politically, socially, and economically since mid-century, isn’t it fair to suggest that today we are faced with issues stemming from the political action/inaction of the very generation so quick to malign that which succeeds it?
    In short, the biggest issue “facing our youth today” is the preponderance of ever delusional baby-boomers who hold the next generation in such contempt in the first place. You’re bored and nostalgic–get over yourself and your idealized past. But then again, as you so aptly put it: “Unfortunately most folks tend to focus on their self and not the whole.”

    • Lee Standberry on

      After reading your comments I’m curious to know how my list is racist? You didn’t address that particular point.

  37. The most serious problem young folks r facing today is our government and their lack of integrity and honesty. They are facing mounting problems in all aspects of life, including the economy and education due to corruption and lack of leadership in our elected officials. They r at the mercy of authority figures who decide what is good for them. Why don’t we concentrate on these issues and ask our young people what they need from those who wield so much power over them.

    • Lee Standberry on

      I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I could probably write a book on the innumerous shortcomings of the American government. Our politicians are more concerned with being reelected than they are with solving the problems that face the people. As a result there is little resolution to the social ills that plague the nation.

  38. I am one of those single parents mentioned in #10. I am also not American, I am Canadian. I resent the impication that all single parents will ultimately fail their children. We cannot paint everyone with the same brush, nothing is ever that simplistic.
    Yes, I raised my daughter alone, and she turned out to be a fantastic human being. She is smart, graduated on time with honors, and I NEVER pushed her to be perfect. As long as she tried her hardest, that was all I asked, including 2 years of precalculous math, something I never would have attempted. She has never done drugs, broken the law, and has never been pregnant. She doesn’t drink to excess, and she is mature enough to know that society is not to blame for her ills. I raised her to realize we all have choices in life. We can choose to drink, do drugs and have sex without protection, or we can choose to be responsible.
    My daughter watched me struggle and sacrifice to make sure she didn’t have to go without. She may have grown up “in poverty” but she never went to bed hungry, always had a decent roof over her head, and she didn’t have to lie awake at night listening to mommy and daddy fight, ever, because it was me and her, period. I always made sure she had new clothes for school, and new school supplies and I was always there to be the emotional support she needed growing up. This despite going to college twice and being diagnosed with MS in 2000.
    Yes it was hard, yes there was sacrafice, on MY part, not hers, and yes there were days I went without to make sure she had. Do I resent any of it? No, because I know I did right by her.
    Also worth noting, she was one of two children she knew raised in a single parent home while going to high school. I am not sure what happened in the other mothers home, but to date, all of her friends that grew up in two parent homes have been drunk multiple times, one has been in rehab,been witness to domestic violence, they have all tried illegal drugs,been arrested, and there has been more than one teen pregnancy. And these are all from TWO parent homes!!
    Who’s to say that one home is better than the other? All I am trying to say is that not all single parent homes are the violence ridden, pits of dispair you are making them out to be.
    In fact, most single parents I know are like me. We love our children fiercly, and we sacrifice and hope for them. We try to be the best example we can be, and we hope they learn from our mistakes and see that you need to earn things in order to appreciate them. My daughter starts college this fall, business administration. What is one of her class mates doing that was raised in a two parent home? Working at a gas station for minimum wage, and still living at home with his parents.
    Thanks for your time.
    A proud single parent.

    • The author never implied or suggested that “that all single parents will ultimately fail their children” as you wrote. She just called out a fact, which is single parent households have more trouble than two parent households. My wife comes from a single parent household and is a wonderful person and very caring towards others. She never got in trouble, in fact probably kept me out of of trouble. Her sister, though, is another story altogether.

        • Lee Standberry on

          Let me clarify my position on this issue. I am not saying that single parents can not or do not do well in raising their children. Obviously, there are many examples of children who are raised in single parent homes turning out just fine. However, as you noted in your comments it is a very hard job to undertake by yourself, which is the point that I was trying to make. In other words, it’s not about whether single parents do a good job or not but rather their job is made much more difficult because they have to do it alone. This inherit difficulty unfortunately produces negative consequences for a good percentage of children. Those are the facts. It’s commendable that you were able to beat the odds but for every success story such as yours there are countless others who cannot say the same. Thanks for your comments.

  39. America really sucks dude…most of these issues that are faced by Americans are self-inflicted…i guess they are paying the price for their high-handedness in the last few decades…inspite of these misfortunes, the USA goes around creating monsters around the world like the Tabliban, Al Queda, Saddam Hussein (to name a few), to achieve their own selfish political purposes…more often than not these monsters renege against their creators and wreck havoc…then the american government spends billions of taxpayers money trying to destroy its own frankenstein like creations…

    What goes around…comes around…

      • I am an american citizen…does that mean i cannot criticize what is happening in my country???

      • COME ON NOW on

        @Lee Standberry
        Being an American citizen does not give you the freedom to put blinders to reality. What Mohan said is right – America acts like the gatekeeper to the world, then reneges on any deal it doesn’t like, and is losing it’s position as a global power.

  40. Wow, you really see the loss of “national pride” as the biggest problem the future generation will have to deal with? Seriously, this is only a philosophical problem or a political one. People can live well, nations can be run without people loving their country. They are still bonded to their home area, their town, neighbourhood, their friends. It takes much more to lose that bond. On the other hand, what do you get, when you have a country where many people are unemployed, badly educated and in fear of violence? More violence, of course. Now if most of these people are zealous nationalists you either end up with fascism or a lot of terrorist groups.
    No, to me your number one seems to me like saying the biggest problem with education today is that they don’t teach those old folk songs anymore. Yes, it’s a pity and it’s not good, but there are by far more vital things than that. And you listed them.

    • Lee Standberry on

      I can’t speak for other top ten list authors but the point of my lists are not ranked in order of importance. In other words, the #1 point is not necessarily the most egregious issue on the list. Rather, I just identify the top ten problems in no particular order. Thinking about it now I’ll probably make a more concerted effort to rank the issues on future lists.

      • I totally understand and agree with Mr. Standberry.
        I ask that you not be swayed by the negatives that come at you.
        Country Pride I see in Jamaicans, Europeans, Egyptians and the list goes on!
        Neighborhoods are now (in this country) filled with so many differences.
        We must search solutions to bring about better economic conditions and country pride without the separation from our past, where we come from.

        My website is down right now but look for it to return
        We can all work together to aid our youth.
        It truly “Takes a Village” to rear even one.
        Especially in todays society of glamour in negativity growing rapidly!

  41. love the number 1 on this list..i’ve been seeing it slowly decline since the mid 2000’s..we are losing ourselves as a United States through problems with immigration, health care, unemployment, and freedom of religion..the people we have elected over the years have continuously let us down by saying they are looking out for us when most of them have ;looked out for the ones that pay the most to their’s embarrassing to see that we have gotten away from the things that made this country one of the most powerful in the world…i believe it can be turned around and we can once again be respected if not well liked by others around the world again, but it’s going to take an effort by all of us at the polls and our own choices to make this happen..God bless the USA

    • Decline since the 60s on

      If you think the decline started in the mid 2000’s, you have not been paying attention.

  42. Look there is nothing wrong with writing about what you know. I just think that maybe the title of this article should be changed to “Top 10 Issues Facing The Youth Of The United States Today” as it would be more accurate.


      Gosh you have many points sir. I sure am glad we can have a country specific list. How could you possibly make a top ten list that includes every culture on earth? Well we could huh? Lets start with # 10 ? Where would hunger be? because it surely does not affect as 3/4 of the earth the way it does the rest, but then to many part’s of Africa, South America, Asia, that could and would be there number 1 ya think? Same with education we think we know what lack of education is( if you are sitting at a computer then education and hunger would be most likely not be a problem for you ) Lack of education in many countries means no education at all. My point is you have to be country, cultural specific on a list like this.Thank you and good night

  43. Surprise, another U.S.-centric list. While I’m sure that some of these problems are affecting many of the countries in the western world, the author talks only of his own country, without realising that many of the people who visit this site do not live in, or particularly care about US problems exclusively. When talking about ‘our’ problems maybe the author should try to embrace a wider world view. Also the author should really engage in some proof-reading before posting terms such as “focus on their self” or “children lay educationally”.

    • Look there is nothing wrong with writing about what you know, but don’t assume that your only readers are fellow US citizens. Maybe this article’s name should be changed to “Top 10 Issues Facing The United State’s Youth Today”

      • Barry, the majority of our readers are from the United States. The majority of our writers are from the US. There is bound to be bias. If we wrote lists for non-US the site would not have the readership it does and could not afford to pay the writers and hosting fees. Sorry, but this is a United States site for the most part, not out of bias, but out of our base knowledge and need for revenue.

        • How could you possibly know that the majority of your readers are from the US? Are you even aware that there are literally millions of English speakers across the globe? I’m not suggesting you write lists appropriate to Turkmenistani people. All that I am saying is that when writing a list like this the title should reflect the content. Also maybe you should put a disclaimer on the frontpage stating what you just stated in your post regarding your position as a US site only.

        • I know because I have analytics that track this information and it is easy to see. Almost 70% are in the United States.

          I won’t be labeling my site as US only because we don’t publish US only lists. Do you suggest every site you read label itself as to what country most reads the list? I doubt it, so why are you so strongly in favor of it from That is rhetorical, so don’t feel the need to respond. I’m not going to apologize for this site or the content. The writers do a good job and I am very proud of this site.

          I hope you continue to be a continued reader because we do value all visitors, even those who criticize the site.

      • Lee Standberry on

        I don’t assume that the points of my article apply to the world at large. Actually, I know for a fact that the points of my list are problems that are indigenous to the United States. But let’s be realistic about this; the issues facing Japanese children or Russian children or African children are going to be wholly different than those found in the United States. As such, as an American myself my perspective is going to be American.

        • Lee: Of course your perspective is going to be American. There is nothing wrong with that. All I’m saying is that your choice of title is a little misleading to me as an Irish person.
          Master: Of course I don’t think every site should label itself due to it’s content. I’m not the one who stated that this site caters only to one nationality, that’s what you implied.
          The beauty of the internet is that it’s a global community. That’s why find this article misleading. Look it’s not really that big a deal, I’m just giving my view as an ‘outsider’
          Neither of you seem to get my point so I’ll try to explain it once again. As a non-US citizen the ‘we’ in the title of this article does not refer to me. Therefore I am suggesting that a more accurate title would reflect that this article deals only with US problems. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I’m just trying to fly the flag for your non-US readership that’s all. I’m not trying to belittle anybody or cause hassle, I really enjoy most lists on this site.

  44. I resent entry 10.

    There is no denying that a generalization can be made– two incomes, after all, are better than one– but I know few two parent families who have done a better job raising their children together than my mother did entirely alone!

    Please note that I graduated high school on time in 2009 with honours in English, my first drink was at the age of 16 at a friend’s house (which my mother knew about; the host’s parents were also home), my first time was at 16 (which my mother also knew about; I promptly opted to go on the pill to prevent any risk of pregnancy in combination with other forms of safe sex), and I have never, ever, ever touched an illegal drug.

    My mother taught me the value of not only money, but the value of hard work, of being a truly good person, and for standing up for what’s right. Even more importantly, no matter how many jobs my mother had, or how many courses she was taking in school (she earned a high school diploma and attended two career college programs all before I was in high school), she was there. Always. When I woke up in the morning, when I went to bed at night, and whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on, ear to bend, or a little tough love. She was there. She still is.

    My mother is my best friend. She is one of the strongest, most brave people that I know. I admire her. She is my hero. If I can be even half the mother that she is to me when I decide to start a family, then I will be thrilled.

    Remember that there are exceptions to every “rule”.

    • Lee Standberry on

      I commend your mother for doing such a great job raising you. This is especially true since she was doing the job of two. However, as you yourself know doing such a commendable job as your mother did is probably the exception rather than the rule. The facts of the matter are that children are raised in single parent homes find themselves at a disadvantage when compared to children raised in two parent homes. That is not to say that children in two parent homes don’t experience problems – of course of they do.

      • Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that the children raised in single parent homes often find themselves at a disadvantage when compared to children raised in two parent homes? Otherwise, it’s an overly general statement that easily offends those who are, in fact, the exception rather than the rule (and yes, I do realize that stereotypes and other generalizations are made based on trends).

        • Braydon Anderson on

          I don’t understand why so many people feel the need to claim victim-hood. Are they just craving drama?
          Many children raised in single parent homes find themselves at a disadvantage because they only have on perspective on how to live their life. If that parent doesn’t make the best decisions, it puts so much more pressure on that parent because they are REQUIRED to take on the role of both parents. When there are two people raising children, then there are two people to hold each other accountable and help if one of them slips up. It’s not to point out how wrong they are, but to help and give insight into what might be the best decision on how to raise the child. They need to co-operate and decide together, not one of them decide and the other tell them they’re wrong.

    • I’m going to disagree with – “two incomes, after all, are better than one”. Let’s look at it from another perspective… perhaps dual parent households/incomes are the problem.

      Do dual incomes not inflate lifestyles? Do children raised in this manner have a false sense of financial pragmatism? Why do we continue to raise the debt ceiling rather than reduce our spending? Granted, it may be necessary to have secondary/tertiary incomes if there are multiple children, extreme medical issues or some such. But one parent raising one child (possibly two) is completely possible, realistic… and (in my opinion) ideal. Why are we living/rearing our children with the expectation that there is something “better” and we/they ain’t it?? This sort of social construction is utterly inane!

      • well said. i agree completely with the whole aspect of what u said regarding our schools now a days and what they are teaching our children .

  45. Haha, kids literally walking around in a daze. Okkay. So because kids have tried drinking or drugs, theyre in a constant drugged stupor. Unless things changed in a few years, the majority of high schoolers might party once a month, maybe, thats a big maybe. Sure, some kids might be drugged up all day, but the majority will try it even less than alcohol and not allow it to impact their lives. Also, lets see some stats from the 60s through the 90s on drug use.
    And on number one, god forbid kids not blindly dedicate their allegiance to their country and realize that it has flaws.

    • Lee Standberry on

      The issue when we talk about national pride is not that our children do not recognize the many flaws in our country. Rather, national pride should be a point of motivation that enables one to thrive to seek solutions for the country’s ills.

      • Kids must be different in where ever you’re from, because since December my state’s capital has been filled with protestors of all ages, including a lot of kids, who during the thick of the protest organized mass walk outs to go protest. And they didnt just go to the park to be crazed druggies, they were certainly protesting. If thats not proof of a motivation to improve flaws, I dont know what is.

        • I see stuff every day kids do get worse. i dont know where you all live but i see on the side of the road a couple of 10 year old smokin some joints and have been taught to hate. i see crackhead teenagers and i see kids being beaten to death this article is very true.

  46. Dumb. You could’ve wrote this 10 years ago and it’d be the same. You could write it in 10 years and it’d be the same. Truth is parents can only do so much, dumb kids are going to do dumb things regardless of what “era” we live in. Don’t blame the modern world for your inability to raise your children. You think everyone from 1940-1985 had a golden childhood filled with rainbows and sunshine?

    • No, they did not have perfect little childhoods. But, 10 to 20 years ago, people at least instilled MANNERS in their little demons. Now all parents do it give them everything they want so they kid will shut up, make them happy, or get them out of their hair. Seriously, people should have a license to be able to have children. Do you seriously expect children to raise themselves? That parents have no way to control them?

      • That is my whole point! Parents need to raise their kids, not just say “I can’t do anything in these times”.

        • I agree, that excuse is so pathetic and weak. Problem with most parents now is they are too self-centered to raise children. The thought of having them is SO great! YAY! But they don’t get that their life is no longer their own.

      • Yeah and about 40 or fifty years ago, it was perfectly okay to beat your children until they had manners.
        Even thought this quote is used all the time, I have to repeat it here:

        “[…] They have bad manners, contempt for
        authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
        rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
        chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
        legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”
        – Aristotle, who complained about the youth of today 2300-and-something years ago.

    • Yes. This. You can go back centuries or even millennia (see ancient graffiti and such) and – allowing for technology and such – and things are consistently similar. We are not “going to hell in a handbasket,” as some would say.

    • My gosh. That’s not what he or she is trying to imply. It’s just the problems we are facing now and the world may have not been all sunshine in rainbow twenty years ago or even more but truly we face more problems now. To sum it up for you, the problems listed have definetly increase in this era.


    I feel that the essay that explains # 1 ( erosion of national pride ) nails it on the head. I will be telling my friends to read this as I could not explain it better. I love this site. My friends never stop here, and I tell them ” they dont know what there missin”. Thanks ” ToptenMaster”

    • no it’s not about kids being dumb if u read maybe u would know what they are trying to get us to do even if it was written 10 years ago it still mean something so until you how it feels just be quiet and stop typing

    • @ Christoph aJeffcoat
      In a global economy, nation-states are meaningless. Before nations people identified more for having similar cultural ties. Nationalism led to two world wars which destroyed the economies of many leading nations, leading to the rise of America. Now, we are in decline. America thought it would lead the global economy, which it did for 70 years, but now through free-trade, globalism, and the never-ending war on terror, has over-spent, became a debtor nation, and sold our debt and resources overseas. We are on the decline, which further exacerbates loss of national pride. WASP America is becoming Latino-America, so the culture will definitely shift as well.

  48. I like this list a lot. I was planning to write a list like this, but you beat me to it.

    Things I wish would happen:
    1) 2nd Enlightenment Era
    2) 2nd Progressive Era
    3) Country-wide educational reform
    4) Country-wide health reform (including diet)
    5) Less Defense spending (China is two generations or so behind us anyways)
    6) More Renewable Energy research
    7) World-wide Depopulation

      • …and spit on the other. I don’t have the political/financial power to found any of these alone.

      • how would you do obesity a fun fact to make children to eat healthily and exercise more?

        • Wrong. The 20th century was the most violent in history and yet the global population doubled.

      • Look at south Korea and what the government has done with their society. They’ve put a high emphasis on education, Putting pressure on students and family’s hence why it’s the most suicidal country. The rate of suicide in korea is 53%, And is the leading country academically.Filtering out the weak and stupid,leaving the strong and smart.I predict south Korea will have the highest GDP in Asia, in the next coming decades!

        • That is a disgusting and despicable position to take. I hope you are not serious. Whatever happened to tolerance?


          And of course Darren is one of the strong and smart (yawn). Be careful what you wish for, or you may be the one killing yourself.

      • @ynsh1
        I doubt that religion is any factor in our own stupidity. In truth, none of these are based on religion. These things happen because of our own actions. We only live “in poverty” because we made such a thing up. No creature on earth was originally designed to live like us. We are just babies when we lose it. You can follow God all you want and still be refused a job or proper education. And you can’t pray for hours on end that you will lose 100 pounds. Part of why our society is so horrible is because we are taught to “fully rely” on someone, whom we might never know for sure if he’s up there, rather than getting off our fat asses and dealing with life ourselves.

        • True but this change gradually happened because we have grown further and further from Christ. If Religion has nothing to do with society then why do we print “IN GOD WE TRUST” on our currency. Read the bible, It talks about cities that began by his guidance and as they grew they forsaken him and began to believe they were powerful enough to work by themselves and eventually crumbled, such as the roman empire, Sodom and Gomorra, the city destroyed by fire and brimstone and many others. At first it was little things then it grew to adultery as well as sacrificing children for their own desire, AKA “ABORTION.” If this is not so, explain why the Israelites escaped slavery and defeated every city no matter the odds until they forsaken GOD and lost the fight to the GIANTS of the Promise Land. Society today is due to our own wickedness and will eventually lead to our own downfall.


          @the truth
          They printed “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the dollar bill starting in the 1950s to further demarcate us from those heathen, godless Commies. In fact, most people worry and obsess over money more than any concept of God, so maybe those words on the dollar bill show where most American’s true faith lies… in their wallet.
          However, I do agree that morality and values are essential to good living and equality, and people are increasingly allowing themselves to become desensitized degenerates; willing participants in their own degradation.

    • What? Depopulation… Care to elaborate? One child policy? China has 120 men for every 100 women.