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Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016 | Promise

Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016

The Commonwealth
Geographic Area
Year Of Publish
Funded by
The Commonwealth
Type of research
Research Area
Policy, Programmatic/systems,


With 1.8 billion people between the ages of 15 and 29, the world is home to more young people today than ever before. Close to 87% of them live in developing countries.

Young people make up approximately one-quarter of humanity, but in many countries, especially in South Asia and Africa, one in three people is a young person.

Demographic trends and projections make it clear that the proportion of young people in the global population is declining and it is predicted to fall below 20% by 2075.

The next few decades, therefore, are an unprecedented window of opportunity for the world, and developing countries in particular, to reap the promise of this ‘demographic dividend’.

The Youth Development Index

The Global Youth Development Index (YDI) and report provides an evidence-based overview of the condition of youth across the world, focusing on opportunities for their development.

The index is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries.

It looks at five themes, or domains, measuring levels of Education, Health and Well-being, Employment and Opportunity, Political Participation and Civic Participation among young people. The domains were selected on the basis of their impact on the development of young people.

By compiling the available stock of global youth-related datasets into one comprehensive and harmonized measure, the YDI enables users to gain a better understanding of youth development in a single snapshot.

The YDI score is a number between 0 and 1. For a country to receive a perfect score of 1, it would represent the highest possible level of youth development attainable. This scoring system is the same as the one underpinning the Human Development Index produced by the United Nations.

The index is guided by the Commonwealth definition of youth as people between the ages of 15 and 29.


1.        Three-quarters of the world’s 1.8 billion young people aged 15 to 29 live in countries where youth development is categorized as ‘low’ or ‘medium’.

2.        Germany achieved the top rank for youth development, according to the YDI, and the Central African Republic had the lowest score. Australia, in third position, is the highest-ranked Commonwealth country.

3.        The Kingdom of Bahrain is the best Arab country that offers good prospects for young people ,The kingdom of Bahrain ranked 41st in the survey

4.        The ten countries with the lowest youth development are all from sub-Saharan Africa, which, according to the United Nations, is the only region that will have a more youthful population in 2050 than it does currently.

5.        The YDI shows that inequalities in health, education and employment of young people countries are still deep and widespread, and prospects for girls and young women are much worse in comparison with their male peers.

 6.        Globally, youth development tends to be highest in countries where young people represent a relatively smaller share (less than 20%) of the population. High youth development also correlates with high levels of national income.

 Many developing countries have significantly youthful populations today but, overall, the world population is ageing. In developing countries the median age of the population is expected to increase by more than ten years to reach 35 in 2050. Therefore, most countries have only a few decades left to achieve the all-round progress in youth development that is necessary to turn their ‘youth bulge’ into a ‘demographic dividend’.


Figures and Tables