Teen angst in America

My favorite data wonk looks at the things that make teens miserable.

Over at New York, Eric Levitz takes on a popular explanation for rising teen suicides: the world is objectively more horrible than it used to be and teens are depressed about it. Levitz presents a blizzard of statistics to show that life today isn’t objectively worse than life a few decades ago, and everything he says is correct. But I want to zoom in on the past couple of decades and specifically on high school life.

Much of this comes from YRBSS, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System run by the CDC since about 1990. You should check out the YRBSS Explorer, which was clearly designed by a person with a sense of whimsy…