Definition of Youth

The Federal Agency for Youth Affairs describes youth as between 15-29. According to a Youth Policy Briefing (2009), the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) specifies the following age groups under the umbrella category of youth: 10-14; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29.


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
Children between 14-16 years are criminally responsible for specified crimes only. Source:  Criminal Code of Russia

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.66% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.75% Female (15-24) %

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) %
  • 30.10% Male (13-15) %
  • 24.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Russia has a 2013 youth policy strategy, underpinned by the report Youth of Russia 2000-2025.

The aim of the youth development strategy (2013) is to contribute to socio-economic development. It defines objectives, priorities, instruments, long-term evaluation benchmarks, parameters for youth policy investment in consideration of youth needs. The strategy places emphasis on patriotism, family, morality, justice, a healthy lifestyle and respect for nature. It takes a clear human capital approach, with emphasis on developing the key competencies of youth including innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, sociability, solidarity and efficiency. In line with this approach the measures included focus on two main areas: the transition to full labour market integration and the value orientations of young people.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Department of State policy in the sphere of education of children and youth within the Ministry for Education & Science supervises the work of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (FAYA), which is responsible for the implementation of the youth development strategy (2013). The FAYA coordinates public efforts in fostering youth opportunity and development and takes a human capital approach. According to the FAYA, youth policy is devolved to regional “subjects”, which have their own state youth authorities, and youth policy action.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
Founded in 1992, the National Youth Council of Russia (NYCR) includes 41 all-Russian and inter-regional organisations and 32 Regional Youth Councils. According to its website it is the most representative youth structure in Russia, recognised by the State and international structures. Its main role is to support the activities of its members to achieve the rights of children and youth. It further serves as a system of coordination and consultation for youth and children’s organisations. The NYCR is a full 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?
RUB 2.4 billion
USD 671.8 million
According to the report, Youth of Russia 2000-2025: Development of Human Capital (2013), the budget allocation for the FAYA in 2013 was RUB 2.4 billion (USD 671.8 million). The report also notes that the total allocation for youth policy across all Federal government spending in 2013 was RUB 9.4 billion (USD 2.63 billion). This does not include the spending of regional ‘subjects’ and municipalities, which is substantial. According to the World Bank, Russia spent 11.94% of its government expenditure and 4.10% of its GDP on education provision in 2008.
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 Youth of Russia 2000 – 2025: Development of Human Capital’ (2013) (Original in Russian. Own translation) is the basis for the youth policy strategy and concludes that:
The new model of state youth policy must be:
  • long-term, until 2025;
  • comprehensive, covering factors ensuring development (or at least preserving) the human capital of young people;
  • interdepartmental, including all ministries and federal agencies, regional and municipal levels, whose activity affects the human capital of young people;
  • interregional, given the spatial and geographical differences in youth population and therefore needs for human capital development throughout the Russian Federation;
  • intersectoral, taking into account the interests and needs of the many ‘subjects’ within the Russian administrative and governance system that are involved in the implementation of youth policy;
  • intergenerational, taking into account the concerns and interests of the different generations in the Russian Federation.
The state budget funding for youth policy should include three components:
  • institutional funding for the stable functioning and development of youth organizations and for supporting the infrastructure of youth policy;
  • project financing, aimed at increasing the flexibility of the institutional structure, encouraging new players to enter the field and supporting youth organizations;
  • program funding, which should serve to strategically address long term problems of youth policy and support youth protection infrastructure.
To achieve an active stance in addressing youth development, rather than its current compensatory role, the annual state budget for the specific youth policy would have to increase from 2 to 5 Billion Rubles annually, and better coordination of state resources allocated to youth by other sectors is required. While Rossmolodezh can act effectively using such resources, it is furthermore necessary to provide financial support for those youth organizations cooperating with it. The creation of Youth Resource Centres across the ‘subjects’ of the Russian Federation would help to increase the effectiveness and quality of youth policy provision. The creation of a Council for Youth Policy under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation and of an Interdepartmental Commission of the Government of the Russian Federation on Youth would go some way to addressing the needs of cross-sectoral youth policy development and implementation. Furthermore, such bodies require evidence of the state of youth to underpin their activities. Relevant scientific research should be commission through Rossmolodezh initially, and in a second step specialized institutes for youth research could be developed. Finally, this transition to a new model of state youth policy is a large-scale organizational undertaking, requiring measures to train the federal, regional and local government human resources and broader categories of personnel who will be responsible for the implementation of youth policy.