A large number of US men of prime working age are neither gainfully employed nor pursuing education or other training, suggesting a potentially significant disconnection from mainstream economic and social life. The Urban Institute, funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services, convened the Race, Place, and Poverty symposium to better understand the experiences of men who were disengaged or at high risk of disengagement from mainstream economic and social systems. The symposium explored the state of knowledge on disconnected low-income men and discussed effective strategies for improving their well-being.
The five briefs in this series on disconnected low-income men summarize the symposium, provide a geographic and demographic snapshot of low-income men, and examine their education, employment, health, and heightened risk of incarceration and disenfranchisement. A related background paper prepared for the symposium features key themes from ethnographic and other qualitative research.