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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

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News | 01 May 2022

A new report supports the EU’s efforts to provide opportunities for young people

A new report from the JRC supports the EU’s efforts to provide opportunities for young people around the world by presenting an overview of international data on youth, which can contribute to policymaking, monitoring and evaluation.

The report shows that there is a growing body of international data on youth across a range of thematic areas.

Overall, it identifies over 150 indicators from official data sources which are relevant to international youth policies and programmes.

In particular, there is a rich body of international data on youth education and employment.

This is important given the centrality of education and employment to young people’s transition to adulthood.

Gaps in youth data

The report also shows that the international data landscape on youth is also limited and patchwork.

Indicators are provided by different organisations, sometimes using different boundaries to define the ‘youth’ age groups and with varying geographic and thematic coverage.

There are also significant gaps in the available data.

In particular, there are few suitable indicators from official sources on youth participation, environmental protection and climate change, peace and security, humanitarian action or fighting discrimination.

Growing importance of youth policies

The world’s youth population is larger than ever before, and the majority of its growth is in low and middle-income countries.

The opportunities available to these young people as they transition to adulthood will have implications for sustainable development and the EU’s relations with partner countries.

Over recent years, decision-makers are paying greater attention to young people and youth has become a policy priority for many governments and international organisations around the world.

International, national and non-governmental organisations and networks have produced a range of policy, programming and strategic frameworks to guide sustainable development actions which impact on young people’s lives.

These initiatives can benefit from better data on youth.