International Year of Youth - Regional Overview - Youth in the Arab Region

Published on


The Arab region has witnessed marked socioeconomic improvements, despite having been subject to persistent poverty, unemployment and armed conflicts. A current challenge is presented by the unprecedented ‘youth bulge,’ which is a term used to describe how the proportion of Arab youth (aged 15-24 years) is increasing significantly in comparison to other age groups. That increase, combined with overall Arab population pressures, has resulted in the most rapid youth population growth in the region’s history. Given this trend, it is important to establish a development agenda that firmly recognizes Arab youth rights and aspirations. Doing so can advance economic growth, social inclusion, and political stability in the region. Out of 22 countries in the region, only 9 have either developed youth policies or are in the process of formulating them. Nevertheless, recent unrest in the region has presented a compelling rationale for governments to bring youth issues firmly into the focus of the national agenda. Policymakers have increasingly recognized the need to formulate national youth policies and action plans, aimed not only at fostering youth human capital development, but also at providing them with the necessary opportunities to reach their full potentials in education, health, employment, and participation in public and political life.

Available languages