Did you know that 43 countries have no youth policy to speak of? Or that Kyrgyzstan has no national youth council, but does have a youth policy law? What about that in Japan men and women can marry without parental consent at 20, or that in 2008 Algeria spent 4.34% of its GDP on education? Read on for more facts and figures from our newest fact sheets and to read more about the fact sheet project…

 Check out our first fact sheets (updated December 20, 2013): 

Afghanistan — Algeria — Angola — Antigua & Barbuda — ArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaBarbadosBelgiumBelizeBeninBoliviaBotswanaBulgariaBurundiCanadaCameroonChinaCzech RepublicDenmarkEgyptEstoniaFijiFranceHondurasJapanKazakhstanKiribati — KyrgyzstanLiberiaMalaysiaMicronesiaNepalPapua New GuineaSamoaSaudi ArabiaSouth Africa — Uganda

Did you know?

99 countries have a youth policy, 56 are revising their policy and 43 have none to speak of.

Kyrgyzstan has a youth policy law, but no representation in the form of a national youth council, whereas the South African Youth Council (SAYC) participates in governmental forums such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).

Malaysia has one of the highest minimum voting ages at 21, and Nicaragua one of the lowest at 16.

In Japan, both males and females can marry without parental consent at 20, while in Cuba, women can marry at 14 and men at 16 with parental consent.

In 2008, Algeria spent 20.27% of its government expenditure on education, while Germany spent 10.37%. For Algeria, this equals 4.34% of its GDP, while for Germany, it is 4.57%.


Youth Policy Fact Sheets

Youth policies, laws and legislation vary widely across the world. The new Youth Policy Fact Sheets provide an introduction to the state of youth policies, youth rights and youth participation in decision making for 198 countries, covering which (if any) governmental authority is responsible for youth, how much it spends, and how youth are represented via national youth councils, when they exist.

They also give a background to the situation of young people in regards to education, literacy and unemployment, some indicators relating to development and the political environment, as well as key legislative minimum ages in areas such as voting, candidacy and marriage.

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On 1 November 2013, we began rolling out our youth policy profiles, releasing “200 Fact Sheets in 200 Days”.

It will be the most comprehensive global overview of youth polices and legislation to date, complete with information on the social and economic reality of young people in that country – all in one place at youthpolicy.org.

 

Fact sheets cover individual countries, however in the future you will be able to access the data online thematically – allowing you to compare and contrast, for example, which countries have a youth policy versus those which do not, or how much countries spend on their youth department, from the largest to smallest amount. In addition, all fact sheets are available in an abridged, two-page PDF format.


The data

Fact sheets are a starting point – not a complete picture.

Providing snapshots of youth policy, fact sheets give a quick overview of a country’s context and enables cross-state comparison, covering the various dimensions of economic and political life for youth in a country. Indicators and indexes were chosen for their availability and geographic coverage. We’ve utilised common economic measurements such as GDP per capita, gini coefficient and youth unemployment, education measurements including net secondary school enrolment, education expenditure and youth literacy rates, as well as youth health indicators such as HIV prevalence and tobacco use.

Composite indexes are also included:

Fact sheets are a starting point – not a complete picture. They are useful for anyone – governments, policy-makers, researchers or young people themselves – seeking an introduction to the situation of young people in any country. While it would be exciting to profile all the youth programming in a country, it would be impossible to do so in a convenient yet thorough way. Fact sheets are not meant to be comprehensive, but rather lay the foundations from which to discuss where data is lacking, how programming relates to the situation and needs of young people, and where further research would be useful.

And further research is certainly needed, and encouraged! Accessible and reliable data is the cornerstone of evidence-based policy, allowing policy-makers to recognise, respond, and (hopefully) improve the realities of young people all around the world.

Accessible and reliable data is the cornerstone of evidence-based policy

Youth Policy Fact Sheets complement the initiatives of the Youth Development Index (YDI), the forthcoming Youth Wellbeing Index (YWI) and the focus on data and evidence (the so-called “data revolution”) highlighted in the Post-2015 agenda.

Data in the area of youth is not without its gaps. We’ve attempted to track down the most relevant, up-to-date, accurate data possible for our fact sheets, however many points are missing. Several indicators only begin to scratch the surface of the complex reality for youth, as well as lack worldwide coverage. This is particularly well documented in the area of youth health, where substantive data is available, yet is often times incomparable in scope, reach or time. Other policy areas, such as youth participation and engagement, are even more under-measured and under-reported.

We’ve decided to make missing data clearly visible – by showing the gaps in charts and highlighting absent information. This indicates areas most in need of improved data on youth and policy – and hopefully motivates not only the research community to fill these gaps, but also policy-makers to make the needed resources and frameworks available.

The fact sheets are living documents, and will continue to improve and evolve with each successive round we release. As information becomes more accessible and available, we will amend the fact sheets each round, ensuring they are relevant and up-to-date.

 Check out our first fact sheets (updated December 20, 2013): 

Afghanistan — Algeria — Angola — Antigua & Barbuda — ArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaBarbadosBelgiumBelizeBeninBoliviaBotswanaBulgariaBurundiCanadaCameroonChinaCzech RepublicDenmarkEgyptEstoniaFijiFranceHondurasJapanKazakhstanKiribati — KyrgyzstanLiberiaMalaysiaMicronesiaNepalPapua New GuineaSamoaSaudi ArabiaSouth Africa — Uganda


Team credits:

Written by Youthpolicy Team

Youthpolicy Team

At youthpolicy.org, we are building a global evidence-base for youth policy. We are published by Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. We generate and consolidate knowledge and information on youth policies; critically report from and about global youth events; and more. Email us at curious@youthpolicy.org.