Definition of Youth

An international study by Euromed on youth policy in Algeria (2009) defines young people as aged between 15-29 years old but outlines the disparity of definitions amongst government institutions. It acknowledges that in Algeria, "most policy makers refer to youth as those under the age of 30."


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 19
  • --
  • XX
  • Female
  • 19
  • --
  • XX

  • No data for marriageable age with parental consent. Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD/ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
The 1966 Penal Code of Algeria (Amended 2007) stipulates that only protective or re-education measures may be applied to a minor aged under 13. Source:  Penal Code of Algeria

Majority Age


Source: European Union & Euromed (2009)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 95.65% Male (15-24) %
  • 95.52% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 25.50% Male (13-15) %
  • 5.70% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
An international study by Euromed(2009) concludes there is "no policy, no comprehensive vision" and "no strategy" on youth.

While Algeria has no youth policies, it has various regulations and programmes that affect youth. The Constitution of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria provides the right to universal free education up to 16 years of age (Article 53).   The National Service Code of 1974 (French) states that two years of national service is mandatory for all males over 19 years of age. In 2002, this was lowered to 18 months and since December 2011, all men over 30 years of age have been exempted from service.   The Ministry of Youth and Sport has Directorates in each of the provinces that are responsible for local youth centres, youth hostels, village halls, youth camps, and sport facilities.   The Ministry of Employment & Social Security and The Ministry of National Solidarity both offer programmes and incentives supporting the hiring of school and university graduates.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, established in 1964, is headed by a Cabinet Minister and supported by the "Secretary of State in charge of youth". A "Higher Council of Youth" is noted as working in conjunction with the Youth Ministry, but no further details could be found. According to researcher, Kamal Rarrbo, author of Studies on Youth Policies In the Mediterranean Partner Countries - Algeria, the common perception is that the Ministry of Youth and Sport has predominately focused attention on sport, rather than youth.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
No local or national youth council exists, nor any formal federation of the 81,000 Algerian youth associations. According to the Studies on Youth Policies In the Mediterranean Partner Countries - Algeria: “There is currently no programme in Algeria allowing to create and develop local or national participation of young people to city life.”   In the article, “Le Forum national des Jeunes en Septembre 2013”, the Secretary of State responsible for Youth announced the first national youth forum, to “discuss their experiences, their concerns but also their ambitions.”

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the blog Maghreb Caravan, the government of Algeria allocated DZN 34.3 billion (USD 435 million) to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. It is unclear how much of this amount is allocated specifically to youth.
According to the World Bank, Algeria spent 20.3% of its government expenditure and 4.3% of GDP on education in 2008.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank

Additional Background

Roughly, 30% of the total Algerian population is between 15-29 years of age and 70% of the population is under 30. The Studies on Youth Policies In the Mediterranean Partner Countries - Algeria, notes:

Today, the Algerian youth is socially considered through the mirror of the social crisis. It is also associated with ’social evils’, such as unemployment, drugs, political violence and delinquency, urban riots and ’harragas’ (those who emigrate clandestinely).

On youth unemployment:

Young people below 30 are the main victims of unemployment, representing 72% of all unemployed people. When they have jobs, nearly 77% of them do not have national insurance even though it is compulsory in Algeria.

On youth crime: Juvenile delinquency generated by the development of social inequalities and poverty is on the increase. Young Algerians have taken part in violent uprisings:

In addition, the social context is marked by many urban riots in some of the Algerian cities mostly caused by young people. The riots that occurred in the city of Oran - using the pretext of the relegation of the local football club to a lower division – cannot deceive anyone. Indeed, marginalized and excluded young people are the ones reacting violently in such situations. It is therefore urgent to clarify the Algerian State’s public action in direction of the younger Algerian generations.

In response, senior politicians have acknowledged the lack of government coordination on youth:

The President of the Republic acknowledged for the first time that ‘national policies have not always reached the expectations of youth. In particular, they lacked effectiveness and consistency because of the lack of operational mechanisms for consultation and coordination of the various institutions dealing with youth issues.

Youth policy in Algeria is under construction. It tends to move towards an inter-sectoral and general policy. Indeed, public action in the direction of youth intervenes in various areas: unemployment, vocational training, drug prevention, non-formal education and sports. There is not yet any inter-ministerial coordination in charge of youth issues.