Did you know that the majority age in Bahrain is 21 years, or that In Comoros homosexual acts are illegal? Did you know that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 7 years in Lesotho but 16 in Cuba? What about the fact that Iceland has a youth act, and that Finland allocated USD 118 million to youth programming? Read on for more facts and figures from our newest fact sheets and to read more about the fact sheet project…

Check out our latest fact sheets (updated February 7, 2014):

Andorra — Azerbaijan — Bahamas — Bahrain — BrazilBruneiCambodiaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChileColombiaComorosCosta RicaCubaDjiboutiEl SalvadorEritreaFinlandHungaryIcelandLesothoLibyaMongoliaMoroccoNamibiaNauruNetherlandsNew Zealand — NiuePalestineSolomon IslandsTajikistanTurkmenistan

Did you know?

The majority age is highest in Bahrain at 21 years, in Andorra it’s 18 and in Cambodia 16 years.

Equal marriage is legal in New Zealand, civil unions exist in Brazil, and in Comoros, homosexual acts are illegal.

Net enrolment rates for boys and girls vary across Africa with 35.28% in Morocco, 25.81% in Eritrea and 13.92% in the Central African Republic.

In Lesotho, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 7 years, whereas in Niue it is 10, in Azerbaijan 14, and 16 years in Cuba.

Iceland has a youth act; Turkmenistan, Finland, and Hungary all have youth policies; Cuba and Eritrea have none; in Djibouti and Mongolia it is unclear.

El Salvador spends USD 707.6 million on youth programming, Finland allocates USD 118 million, and Costa Rica USD 61.8 million.

In Mongolia, 25.7% of young men use tobacco, 10.7% of young women in Lesotho have HIV and Niue, which has a population of 1398, is grappling with migration of its young people (mostly to New Zealand).


Youth Policy Fact Sheets

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

Youth policies, laws and legislation vary widely across the world. The 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.

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. They offer a useful summary of the situation of young people and indicators, indexes and legislation areas were chosen for their availability, geographic coverage and the story they help tell.

Morocco Fact Sheet PDF

On 1 November 2013, we launched our youth policy profiles, releasing “200 Fact Sheets in 200 Days”. Today, we have over 70 online. By May 2014, every UN country will be featured.
It will be the most comprehensive global overview of youth polices and legislation to date, all in one place at youthpolicy.org.

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.


Our team

“200 Fact Sheets in 200 Days” is an ambitious but needed project. Making the good looking, accurate and up-to-date Fact Sheets you see online, requires many hours of trawling government websites, checking newly released data sources, contacting agencies in-country and extensive drafting, editing, finalising and quality control revisions.

In numbers, we have:

A glimpse at some of the investment going into the fact sheets
  • 8 team members working on the fact sheets, equalling
  • 4 full time positions over a period of 15 months
  • 18 refining versions of our drafting template
  • 4 main versions of our style guidelines
  • 71 Fact sheets online
  • 193 data sets reviewed
  • 3274 documents in our ‘Fact Sheets’ dropbox folder
  • 3.148.463.693 bytes of data in that folder

But producing the online and PDF versions of the Youth Policy Fact Sheets is only phase 1. The more exciting phase will begin in mid-2014 when we begin visualising, analysing and using the data we’ve collated to support policy makers, parliamentarians, global institutions, civil society and young people to realise better public policies for young people. If you’re interested in helping us achieve this, contact us here.


The data

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:

It’s clear that further research is 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.

FS Tajikistan Online

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 latest fact sheets (updated February 7, 2014):

Andorra — Azerbaijan — Bahamas — Bahrain — BrazilBruneiCambodiaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChileColombiaComorosCosta RicaCubaDjiboutiEl SalvadorEritreaFinlandHungaryIcelandLesothoLibyaMongoliaMoroccoNamibiaNauruNetherlandsNew Zealand — NiuePalestineSolomon IslandsTajikistanTurkmenistan


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.