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Brussels, 27 April 2009

The First EU Youth Report

Together with the adoption of the Communication "An EU Strategy for Youth - Investing and Empowering", outlining a new youth cooperation framework in the European Union, the Commission is also publishing a Youth Report. The Youth Report is a compilation of data, statistics and brief analyses on the situation of young people in Europe. It provides an overview of the situation in the EU Member States in a range of different areas and outlines as well the differences between countries.

The Youth Report is the first such report to be published by the Commission. It was requested by the Council of the European Union and is expected to be published every three years.

The objective of this first Youth Report is twofold. First, it is to support the new youth cooperation framework by collecting much of the available statistics and data on the situation of young people. Second, it responds to the obligation for evidence-based policy making, i.e. to base all efforts to address young people's challenges and improve their situation on clear evidence.

The report also gives some indications as to where there is a lack of research and data on youth and outlines possible avenues for future improvement.

The primary sources are data and statistics from Eurostat, plus additional figures and a number of surveys and data from various other sources.


Some key data and statistics on young people in Europe in various life-arenas are outlined below, all taken from the report:


There are 96 million young people aged 15-29 in the European Union, constituting almost 20 % of the total population. It is projected that the share of young people in 2050 will be reduced to 15.3 %.


There are now some 3 million more students in higher education than in 2000, and 1 million more graduates per year. The number of students increased by 25 % between 1998 and 2006.

There are 23 % more young women than young men in higher education.

One fifth of children do not have basic standards of literacy and numeracy.

6 million young people, 1 out of 7 young persons aged 18-24 years old, complete only compulsory education or less.

At the European level, the percentage of early school leavers (leaving school after lower secondary education) has continuously decreased over the 2000-2007 period, but still amounts to 14.8 %.

More than 50 % of young Europeans between 25 and 29 have completed upper secondary education, and 29 % higher education.

Less than one third of young people aged 25-34, who have a disadvantaged socio-economic background, complete higher education.


More than one third of young people aged 15-24 are NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

The unemployment rate (15.3% in 2007, 15.4% in 2008) of young people aged 15-24 is nearly twice the percentage observed among the whole working population.

26 % of unemployed 15-24 year-olds and 35 % of unemployed 25-29 year-olds have been unemployed for more than 12 months.

Social inclusion

19 million children (age 0-17) are at risk of poverty in the EU.

20 % of young people aged 18-24 are at risk of poverty.

18 % of young people aged 18-24 earn less than half the average income of the country they live in.

Active citizenship

22 % of young people in the EU declare that they are members of an organisation.

49 % of young people declare that they are members of a sports club.

4 % of young people declare having participated in activities of political parties or trade unions.

Less than 40 % of young people aged between 16 and 29 have trust in (or are neutral towards) politicians and political parties.

63% of the population younger than 30 trust the European Parliament.


24.5 % of young people (15-29) live in the same household as their partner.

37 % of all babies are born outside marriage.


Around 2 million young people have mental health problems.

17 % of young people aged 15-24 are overweight.

9 % of young people aged 15-24 are underweight.

24 % of young people aged 15-29 smoke daily.

The internet generation

In 2007, 70 % of young people aged 16-24 used computers daily (compared to 50 % in 2004).

59 % of young people aged 16-24 use the Internet daily.

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