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 right here in one place. But as we progress through our youth policy fact sheets marathon, it not only becomes more evident how much is known, but also how much data is missing.

Check out our latest fact sheets (updated March 24, 2014):

Austria — Belarus — Chad — Congo-Brazzaville — Côte d’Ivoire — Croatia — Cyprus — Dominica — Equatorial Guinea — Ethiopia — Georgia — Greece — Guatemala — Guyana — Haiti — Indonesia — Iran — Italy — Kenya — Laos — Liechtenstein — Madagascar — Mexico — Moldova — Myanmar — Palau — Poland — South Korea — Sudan — Swaziland — Taiwan — Tonga — United States — Uzbekistan — Vanuatu

The more we know…

As we progress through our youth policy fact sheets in our little 200 fact sheets in 200 days marathon, it not only becomes more evident how much is known, but also how much data is missing.

Did you know?

The voting age is lowest in Austria at 16 years, in the United States it is 18, in South Korea it’s 19 and in Côte d’Ivoire 21.

In Swaziland, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 7 years, whereas in Ethiopia it is 9, in Poland 15, and Congo-Brazzaville hasn’t set any age limit.

Tonga, Georgia and Guatemala all have youth policies; Greece, Myanmar and Sudan have none; in Madagascar, Kenya and Dominica the youth policies are under review; and the United States, Indonesia and Haiti are developing new youth policy frameworks.

Did you know what we don’t know?

As we keep producing fact sheets, the lack of data becomes more visible, too:

Of the 35 fact sheets we produced in March 2014:

For 15 countries (43%), there is no data on the prevalence of HIV among young people;

For 16 countries (46%) there is no data on unemployment rates of young people;

For 17 countries (49%), there is no data on the budget of the youth ministry.

Youth unemployment graphs in Round 4 of our fact sheet production marathon (March 2014)
Youth unemployment graphs in Round 4 of our fact sheet production marathon (March 2014)

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
  • 10 team members working on the fact sheets, equalling
  • 4.2 full time positions over a period of 15 months
  • 18 refining versions of our drafting template
  • 4 main versions of our style guidelines
  • 5 main versions of our fact sheet workflow
  • 106 Fact sheets online
  • 195 data sets reviewed
  • 4.130 documents in our ‘Fact Sheets’ dropbox folder (up from 3274 docs a month ago)
  • 3.905.583.369 bytes of data in that folder (up from 3.148.463.693 bytes)

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 March 24, 2014):

Austria — Belarus — Chad — Congo-Brazzaville — Côte d’Ivoire — Croatia — Cyprus — Dominica — Equatorial Guinea — Ethiopia — Georgia — Greece — Guatemala — Guyana — Haiti — Indonesia — Iran — Italy — Kenya — Laos — Liechtenstein — Madagascar — Mexico — Moldova — Myanmar — Palau — Poland — South Korea — Sudan — Swaziland — Taiwan — Tonga — United States — Uzbekistan — Vanuatu


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.