Youth Boost to Economy, Crime - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Youth Boost to Economy, Crime

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Inside Amarillo National Bank's Tower 2 this evening was a clear example of the growing youth population. Texas Tech pharmacy school had an orientation dinner for their largest class ever at 115 students.

"They make the community very vibrant. Some of them will go on for post graduate educaiton. but the majority will go into practice," Dean Arthur Nelson Jr. said.

The pharmacy school is not alone. A report from a Missouri graduate program says West Texas is quote, "a striking exception to the rural-is-getting-older story." Local experts add not only does that lead to a larger work force, but it's also a boost to the area economy in other ways.

"The demographics are between the ages of 18 and 30 really are a high consuming level. so you get the impact with our restaurants, the various stores, retail outlets," WT Sociology Claudia Stuart said.

Josh Wood is one of the co-founders of the Amarillo Young Professionals group. He adds there's more than just a financial impact.

"I think that the challenges are a change in culture somewhat," Wood said.

He says as young people start to have families and settle down, they also develop interest in politics and in becoming community leaders - many bringing new perspectives to the area after having gone to college elsewhere. But with the positive also comes some drawbacks.

"Unfortunately that's also the demographics for increased crime. one on one crime. home invasions. so our law enforcement community might feel an impact as well," Stuart said.

Still the pharmacy dean puts it best, just think of all the pizzas 115 students can eat over the next four years.

"They're a big boost to Amarillo," Nelson said.

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