Definition of Youth
Dominica’s national youth policy (2004) defines youth as between 15-30 years, but notes “the various definitions of young people that have already been legislated.”
- Opposite Sex
- Same Sex
- Without parental consent
- with parental consent
Situation of Young People
- -- Male (15-24) %
- -- Female (15-24) %
- Year: No data.
- Source: UNESCO
Net Enrolment RateSecondary School
- 79.16%Male %
- 87.90% Female %
- Year: 2011
- Source: UNESCO
Situation of Young People
Policy & Legislation
The mission of the national youth policy (2004) is “to create a framework that will ensure that young men and women in Dominica grow up with a sense of belonging and worth and are empowered to participate fully in the social and economic development of the nation.” The policy focuses on six areas: 1) Employment; 2) Education and Training; 3) Health; 4) Drugs, Violence and Crime; 5) Recreation, Physical Education, Sports and Culture; 6) Community and Social Responsibility. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Dominica is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015. It lists 13 action points for member nations, including youth empowerment, youth governance, participation, gender equality, education, health and ICT.
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
To provide efficient and effective services geared towards empowering young men and women to develop their unique potential, creativity and skills as productive and participating members of the society...It delivers a number of programmes focusing on business skills, leadership, volunteerism and the environment. It runs youth centres and Youth Enterprise Centres across the country.
Youth and Representation
Budget & Spending
- % of GDP
- % of gov. expenditure
Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).
According to the 1991 Population census, the youth population, that is, those under 30 years make up 61.6% of the Dominican populace. Thirty percent (one third) of the population falls within the category defined by the policy as youth. Fifty-one percent of these are males and roughly 20% are school age but only about 50 – 60 % of these may be at school. The others have not been able to access secondary education because of the limited spaces available at this level.
Young people headed over three thousand households (3103) according to the 1991 population and housing census. Nearly ten thousand (9693) were employed which means that roughly 51% were either at school or unemployed. With 16% of these at schools of some sort, it can be safely said that at that time about 35% of the youth population were unemployed.Social and economic profile
Dominica recorded a population decline in 1991. The results of the population and housing census conducted that year indicated that 74% of the population resides outside of Roseau. It also showed that Dominica’s population is relatively young with the highest number of males and females being in the 15-19 year age group.
The Dominican economy, like most Caribbean countries is developing. It is still unable to provide satisfactory levels of income, employment and other necessary prerequisites for desirable standards of living for the population. Its one crop economy and dependence is characterized by reliance on external sources of capital flows (direct foreign investment and aid), consumer and capital goods. Initiatives are being implemented towards a diversified economy with reduced dependence on bananas.
The earnings from bananas and other agricultural crops have declined from 42% in 1990 to 19% in 1997. During the same period manufacturing exports grew from 26% to 30% while tourism moved from 28% to 44% (Strategic Outlook, 1999/2000). Shifts in economic activities may have some implications for employment and migration, that is, rural to urban as mostly rural residents have cultivated bananas. Migration out of these rural communities necessitates adjustments to family and community relations as well as in the life of the young people involved since they have the greatest propensity to migrate. Some effort to include these considerations in development planning should be undertaken.
The distribution of unemployed labour force indicates that a substantial number of persons (50%) have no occupational training. Since 50% of young people make up the labour force it means a large number of young people particularly those in the rural areas are unemployed. In addition, about 13% of the young people are illiterate. This seems to indicate further that a fairly large number of youth are either unemployed or not in any specific employment. The duration of employment for young people is a source of concern. Sixty one percent of the unemployed have been without work for at least twelve months. Seventy-three percent of the women and about 51% of the men have not worked for over one year. This means that the Dominican youth may be among the poorest in the nation. The situation appears to be worse for young women and may be worst for young mothers. Very often this malaise of unemployment may be accompanied by drug use and violence, inadequate access to education, the absence of social and economic safety nets and health problems.
The youth falls within the most productive age group and many are at risk for early teen pregnancy as well as exposure to health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases, which include HIV/AIDS. While the national policy on health is based on the principle that each person has the right and access to the highest possible level of health care and health care services, the state of health of the Dominican youth population needs specific attention in areas such as adolescent health, drug, alcohol and tobacco use, nutrition and physical and sexual activity. About 23% of teens in Dominica have had at least one abortion.Current issues
Today, unemployment and problems of sexual health still remain major issues and more so since the onset of HIV/AIDS in the latter part of the 1980s. This is compounded with problems of drug abuse and the shift in traditional values and thinking among youth brought on by the revolution in technology and the attending problems of globalisation.