How prepared are America’s youth to lead the U.S. economy?

Posted on May 3, 2017 • Category: Young Talent


According to the 2015 Census, there are nearly 33 million students enrolled in grades 5 through 12. Gallup’s research indicates that approximately 5 in 1,000 people have “exceptionally rare, genius-level entrepreneurship talent.” That means that about 165,000 students possess this exceptional talent and represent a crucial resource to help sustain economic growth across the country.

The new Gallup-HOPE Index includes 5 years of data about what the nation’s 5th to 12th graders are thinking. Do they want to be self-employed? Do they want to invent something that changes the world? Are they financially literate and do they understand free enterprise?

















Gallup describes the entrepreneurial spirit as “having the talent and energy for building businesses that survive, thrive and employ others.” It goes on to say that while talent can’t be taught, determination and confidence can be nurtured from a young age.

Two of the eight citizen goals that describe The Arizona We Want are “job creation” and “making Arizona the place to be for young talent.” Learn More


40% America’s 5th to 12th graders who plan to start their own businesses.
The 2016 Gallup-HOPE Index: Quantifying the Economic Energy of America’s Youth  

Gallup, April 2017


27% High school students who plan to start a business, down 33% to 35% from prior years.
U.S. High School Students’ Entrepreneurial Ambition at New Low  

Gallup Analytics, April 20, 2017

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Lattie F. Coor

My Perspective

When CFA set out to build a citizens' agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national struggle to address the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways, Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens. CFA is now in the process of building Arizona Progress Meters for each of the 8 citizen goals defined by the people who live here. The culmination of these goals is The Arizona We Want.

The Arizona We Want is a long-term vision and it can be achieved if we work together.

Learn More about how CFA is activating the citizens' agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.