Definition of Youth

The National Institute for Youth, the governmental body responsible for youth policies and programmes, focuses its work on young people aged 15-29 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • --

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Adolescent Penal Law of Chile

Majority Age


Source: Law 19221 (1993)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.32% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.06% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 82.31%Male %
  • 85.93% Female %

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) %
  • 29.80% Male (13-15) %
  • 39.80% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Chile has a national youth action plan from 2004. A youth health program was added in 2012.

The National Youth Action Plan (2004) seeks to “allow progress towards the consolidation of a network of opportunities for the youth of our country.” The Plan focuses on five key areas:

  1. Youth Citizenship And Generation Networks;
  2. Culture And Recreation;
  3. Self-Care Health;
  4. Youth Work;
  5. Access to New Technologies.
The National Youth Action Plan (2004) was informed by national surveys of youth conducted by the National Institute of Youth (INJUV).The plan notes that

Young people increasingly demand a society with greater equality of opportunity, increased equity, more tolerance and less discrimination.

In 2012 a National Youth Health Programme was created. This is a technical framework for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a systematic youth-focused healthcare programme.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The National Institute for Youth (INJUV) is a governmental agency within the Ministry of Social Development which aims to, “coordinat[e] youth public policies that originate in the state.” The Intergovernmental Committee on Youth has responsibility for the development and implementation of the National Youth Action Plan (2004). The Committee provides political and technical assistance and coordinates across “various ministries and public services in order to promote and develop the country's youth.”

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
There appears to be no national-level youth representation structure in Chile. The National Institute of Youth (INJUV) “generates programs that promote social inclusion and participation, respect for [youth] rights…empowerment and responsibility.” In the National Youth Action Plan (2004), the National Institute of Youth (INJUV) is tasked with establishing regional and provincial youth councils. While the National Institute of Youth (INJUV) acts as the interlocutor between civil society, youth and the Government of Chile, it is unclear what role young people play in the decision-making of INJUV.

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?
CLP 5.9 billion
USD 10.7 million
According to the Budget Law 2014, the budget of the National Institute of Youth (INJUV) is CLP 5.9 billion (USD 10.7 million). According to the World Bank, Chile spent 17.81 % of its government expenditure on education provision in 2010, and 4.07% of its GDP in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The National Youth Action Plan (2004) provides a situational analysis of life for young people in Chile:

Cultural & social change From the analysis of the data collected in national surveys of young persons by the National Youth Institute in 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2003, it appears that one of the characteristics of the youth condition is participating in processes of cultural change that the country has experienced in the last ten years. They value family and consider as the most important institution of society, but marry less and live longer. Young people are more liberal in their sexual behavior and practices and have children at a younger age, but have weak skills for preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Young people increasingly demand a society with greater equality of opportunity, fairer, more tolerant and less discrimination.

Media portrayal In recent years the media have tended to emphasize a negative image about the youth (especially those in sectors): "youth problem." Thus, an important part of the youth made ​​references in the media accentuate a certain relation to drug use, vandalism or crime.

Participation In addition, young people have been showing a gradual distancing from formal politics. The results of the 4th National Youth Survey shows that young people have low confidence in people and political institutions.

In regards to the participation of young people in various groups and organizations, 47.2% of them participate in some, 29.5% participated and 23.3% had never participated (4th National Youth Survey, INJUV 2004). Young people between 15 and 18 years are the most involved (60.5%) and between 25 and 29 years is the largest number of youth who have never participated in any organization or group (28.1%).

Unemployment Work is central to young people. More than half of them (53.1% according to the Youth Survey IV) are working or looking for work.