Definition of Youth

According to the national youth policy (2008-2015) of Nauru, youth is defined as individuals between the ages of 15-34 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 0
  • XX
  • Female
  • 16
  • 0
  • XX

  • No minimum age for marriage with parental consent. Male homosexual acts illegal. Female homosexual acts are legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
No data for age of criminal responsibility. Source:  Nauru

Majority Age


Source: Interpretation Act (2011)

Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

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 %
  • --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) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Nauru has a national youth policy covering 2008-2015, replacing the previous one from 1998.

The national youth policy (2008-2015) replaces a previous 1998 version and has an overall vision to “pave the way for young people to mobilise their creativity, energy and enthusiasm to improve their quality of life.” It focuses on five key objectives:

  1. Develop skills and capacity of young people for self-sustenance.
  2. Facilitate and create income earning and employment opportunities for young people.
  3. Create and support social development programmes to improve lifestyles of young people.
  4. Create an enabling and supportive environment for sustainable and effective youth development.
  5. Contribute to quality and effective youth development programmes.
The policy is accompanied by an implementation plan and the ‘RONYOUTH Pathway 2015’, which details specific indicators

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
According to the national youth policy (2008-2015), the Directorate of Youth Affairs (DYA) in the Department of Education has the mandate to “operate with a view to improve the mainstreaming of youth concerns and issues across the wide parameters of youth related issues, to achieve a co-ordinated and holistic response to youth developmental needs and aspirations.” The DYA supports youth inclusion in policy and strategy across government, liaises with youth stakeholders, initiates youth programming, and supports youth workers and the National Youth Council.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
According to the Pacific Youth Council - Nauru page, the Nauru National Youth Council (NNYC) aims to “promote peace and unity that empowers young people to become leaders of tomorrow.” Formed in 1994, it has a close relationship with the Directorate of Youth Affairs and is recognised as the lead NGO for youth development in Nauru and is involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of the national youth policy (2008-2015). The NNYC is a member of the Pacific Youth Council and The Commonwealth Youth Council.

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?
AUD 98,254
USD 86,532
According to the Republic of Nauru: 2011-12 Budget, the Directorate of Youth Affairs’ estimated budget for 2011-12 was AUD 98,254 (USD 86,532). The World Bank lists no data on public spending on education in Nauru for the last ten years.
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 Nauru - A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth (2005) provides more context to the issues facing the Island of Nauru:

Geography The Republic of Nauru comprises a single, remote raised coral island 40 kilometres south of the Equator, to the north west of the Gilbert group of islands (west Kiribati) (AusAID, 2004). In terms of distance from major commercial centres, it is about four and half hours flying time from Brisbane, Australia, and about three and a half hours from Nadi, Fiji.

The total area of Nauru is only 21 sq km (AusAID, 2004). Most settlement is on the narrow coastal strip that surrounds a central plateau rising to about 30 metres above sea level. It takes less than half an hour to drive the 19 kilometres of road that encircles the island. The interior plateau of ancient coral is porous, so there are no rivers or streams on the island, but fresh or brackish water can be pumped from underground ‘lenses’ at sea level.

Economic situation The issues of concern for children, youth and women in Nauru are determined largely by factors that affect the whole nation. Although relatively safe from natural hazards other than periodic drought, Nauru depends on trade, so is highly vulnerable to economic fluctuations and the interruption of essential services. Most of Nauru’s current challenges have arisen from recent declines in national incomes that have dramatically reduced capacity to maintain essential services and reduced household security. In order to fully appreciate the impact of these economic trends it is necessary to understand the recent history of Nauru.

Youth concerns The staff of the Department of Youth and Community Affairs and other youth group organisers consulted are well aware that unless there is expansion of employment and other opportunities for youth, their activities can bring only limited benefits to young people. ‘It’s as if the youth drop into a big hole when they reach the end of high school’ they said. ‘There’s very little for them’. This view was echoed time and again by many people consulted for this report. ‘I am very concerned that the future for my children is so bleak’ was a common theme among informants. At the heart of this problem is the scarcity of employment opportunities.

Unsurprisingly, lack of opportunity manifests as various socially unacceptable behaviours among youth. In Nauru, as elsewhere, some unemployed young people, both boys and girls, express their boredom and frustration by engaging in substance abuse and unsafe sex, and in extreme cases, vandalism, violence and petty crime. Some of these cases result in prosecutions, but it appears that many more go unreported. Sometimes residents themselves deal with the perpetrators. ‘Gangs’, which can be an important source of peer support, are widely perceived as associated with delinquent behaviour.

There are no reliable statistics to indicate whether problem behaviours among youth are more common in Nauru than elsewhere, but there is a perception in the community that they are increasing. More goods are being stolen, especially electronics and motorcycles. Some say that non-Nauruan shopkeepers are being coerced into purchasing stolen goods, but this is undocumented. Informants speculate that youths, and even children, account for four out of every five petty crimes. Perhaps more importantly, since they see little prospect of increasing opportunities for youth, most informants expect youth crime to continue or escalate.