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The aim of the article is to examine the consequences of exclusion from school and work on the later life of young people. The article is based on a longitudinal study concerning Finnish youths who were unemployed and had not continued their schooling after compulsory school in 1985 (n = 6983). The life-courses of these youths were followed up to and including the year 2000. According to the results, dropping out of education and working life after compulsory schooling quite strongly predicted a weak educational and labour market position. However, there were also many persons in the target group who had continued their education at a later age and succeeded in finding their place in working life. Altogether, the results suggest that it should not be taken for granted that dropping out of education and work in youth necessarily lead to exclusion in later life. Both exclusionary and successful life careers were represented in the data, although the former were more common.