According to a new report prepared for the White House by the Center For Benefit Cost Studies and Education, there are an estimated 6.7 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 that are not in school or the labor force. Professor Henry Levin of Teachers College at Columbia University, who breaks down the figures in an interview with CNBC, calls them ‘Opportunity Youth,’ and says they comprise approximately 17 percent of the youth population in the U.S.

WATCH: Professor Henry Levin outlines the report findings in an interview with CNBC
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The lifetime cost, or burden, that falls on taxpayers for one member of the ‘Opportunity Youth’ group is an estimated $750,000, with a combined social burden of nearly $5 trillion in missed wealth creation opportunities and other losses. Professor Levin outlines ways to reduce drop outs, listing the implementation of high school reforms, reductions in class sizes, and early childhood education intervention as the most vital.