Definition of Youth

The national policy for youth of 2013 addresses young people aged 3 to 30 with a focus on those aged 6 to 25; other policies are addressed to those aged 16 to 25.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 18
  • 18

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Educational measures may be imposed upon minors aged between 10 and 18 years of age. Source:  Penal Code of France

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 95.83%Male %
  • 97.53% 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) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
France renews its youth policy biennially. Here are the 2011 and 2013 editions and a 2012 briefing.

Priorities of the youth policy of 2013, which is the first since a change of government, are the improvement of interdepartmental cooperation on youth issues, ensuring all young people the access to education, professional orientation and training, participation in the personal development of the young and supporting them in their way to personal autonomy. The Observatory on Youth and Youth Politics for 2012 by the National Institute of Youth and Popular Education (INJEP) contains abstracts of and links to additional government decisions and policies on youth of the respective year. It also displays prominent civil society positions. A review for 2011-2012 is also available.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry for Sports, Youth, Popular Education and Community Life is charged with preparing and putting in place governmental policy in favour of youth. To improve interdepartmental cooperation on youth issues the Inter-ministerial Committee on Youth (CIJ) was revived in 2013. It adopted 47 concrete measuresdesigned to meet the needs of young people through public action. Among these are measures to prevent school drop-out, to improve access to housing, and to facilitate youth employment.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Committee for National and International Relations between Youth and Non-formal Education Associations (CNAJEP) represents more than 70 national youth and non-formal education organisations of France, which themselves represent more than 90,000 local organisations. CNAJEP is present domestically through 23 regional coordination bodies across the country and internationally as a member of the European Youth Forum.

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?
As described in Law No. 2012-1509 of 29 December 2012 on the Finances for 2013, spending for sports, youth and community life was EUR 470 million (USD 637 million). However, it is unclear what proportion is spent specifically on youth. According to the World Bank, France spent 10.38% of its government expenditure and 5.90% of its GDP on education provision in 2009.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank

Additional Background

From the latest edition of the national youth policy of 2013. Original in French, own translation:

In France there were 22.5 million young people aged 3 to 30 in 2012. Among the total population of 65.35 million, this equals 34.4%. The number of young people aged 15 to 29 decreased from 24% in 1975 to 18.4% in January 2012 due to the aging population and the higher life expectancy.

From the Observatory on Youth and Youth Politics. One Year of Youth Policy: 2012. Original in French, own translation:

One major change to those issues strongly highlighted during the previous presidency of Sarkozy should be noted: juvenile delinquency and security are no longer at the forefront of government public policy. This has been replaced with dedication of the government to the living conditions of young people, their social rights (health, housing, and notably social protection), and in particular for young people in precarious situations (jobs of the future, youth guarantee). These measures reaffirm the the principle of social justice. This philosophy breaks with the earlier perspective – oriented towards individual accountability – and contributes to an egalitarian and inclusive vision.