Definition of Youth

Niue’s national youth policy (2009) defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15-34 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 18
  • --
  • Female
  • 19
  • 15
  • --

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

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
From 10-14 years old, the state must prove criminal capacity. A child below 10 cannot be held legally responsible for their actions. Source:  Act of Nieue
Niue Act

Majority Age


No legislative definition for majority age. Source: CRIN

Voting Age


Constitution of Niue (2006) doesn't specify the voting age.
Source:  Constitution of Niue

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?
Niue has a national youth policy for the period 2009-2013, a revision of the youth policy 2003–2008.

The mission of Niue’s national youth policy (2009) is  

to enable dedicated young people, in partnership with communities, to take positive action for youth development on Niue.
It has eight policy objectives that “will be pursued by the government, NGOs, churches, communities and the private sector.”  These objectives are in the following areas:
  1. Education, training and career development;
  2. Cultural heritage and spiritual wellbeing;
  3. Youth employment and economic development;
  4. Health and wellbeing;
  5. Environment and climate change;
  6. Media and information and communications technology (ICT);
  7. Social development and family values;
  8. Sports and recreation.
The policy sets out responsibilities for the Department of Community Affairs and the National Youth Council, which will be responsible for implementation.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is the main government agency responsible for youth development in Niue. According to the national youth policy (2009), the DCA has
responsibility of seeking financial resources through approved government channels for supporting youth activities. The department will work with national, regional and international agencies to make sure that all the activities are aligned under the youth policy and address youth priorities.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Niue Youth Council (NYC) was established in 1982 and consists of 14 youth groups representing villages and five youth groups representing other denominations on the island. Its mission is “to develop a generation of dedicated young people who in partnership with communities [take] on positive actions towards youth development in Niue.“   The national youth policy (2009) identified NYC as a key partner for the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).   The NYC is a member of the Pacific Youth Council which is a member of 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?
No documentation in youth spending in Niue could be found online. The World Bank lists no data on public spending on education in Niue since 2000.
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

From Niue National Youth Policy (2009):  
Youth Profile
The 2006 census recorded a total of 438 young people (15-34 years old), consisting of 207 females and 231 males and representing 26.9% of the total population.
The 2001 census reported a total of 471 young people — 233 females and 238 males. Unlike other Pacific Island countries and territories where youth represents a significant portion of the total population, Niue is grappling with the migration of its youth population (mainly to New Zealand), with more male migrating than young women.
The young people of Niue are well educated as education is compulsory (up to age 14) and they have access to higher and tertiary education in New Zealand and at the University of the South Pacific (USP). Young people leaving grade 13 who are not able to continue their education either find employment in the public service or private sector, or they migrate to New Zealand.
Being the largest employer on the island, the Niue Public Service is also the main employer of young people. Few young people are employed by NGOs and the private sector. The issue of unemployment was not brought up by young people during the review consultation, probably thanks to the low unemployment rate on Niue.
The number of youth with disabilities could not be ascertained due to lack of data; however, the total number of people with disabilities in Niue was reported in 2006 to be 9 (5 males, 4 females).
Summary of issues impinging on youth development
Issues hampering the realisation of the full potential of young people include:
  • Lack of organised activities for youth — There are insufficient resources to organise activities that will best suit the interest of young people and inadequate human resource to manage and implement youth activities.
  • Lack of motivation — A concern raised by the Taoga Niue Government Department of Culture and Heritage office and the young people is a lack of motivation and interest by youth participating in learning and promoting the Niuean traditions and customs. There is a lack of understanding of Niuean culture that may lead to the extinction of this unique heritage. Young people have a responsibility to maintain and carry forward Niuean culture. However, young people blame their lack of motivation and interest on modern influences demands, and competing priorities.
  • Inadequate employable skills — Young people entering the workforce from high school do not necessarily have the skills to fully undertake their roles and responsibilities. There is a need to provide mentoring and capacity building for young employees.
  • Limited opportunities for young people to diversify careers — Due to limited resources (including human resources) and competing priorities, there are limited opportunities for young people to get into other fields/careers.
  • Lack of interests in areas such as agriculture, handicrafts and small income generating activities due to limited market and awareness of opportunities in the informal/private sector. This has discouraged young people from venturing into these sectors.
  • Migration — Young people do not feel that migration is a problem as educational and employment opportunities abroad are more attractive. However, migration does affect young people’s development as those responsible for youth development also have other commitments due to the shortage of human resources. Between 2001 and 2006, an average of 50 people migrated per year, with the majority being young people.