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The Youth Progress Index countries’ scores vary significantly. The highest scoring country overall is Norway. Switzerland achieves the highest score in Basic Human Needs, Denmark tops Foundations of Wellbeing, and Finland outperforms others in Opportunity. Mozambique ranks last on the Index overall, whereas Central African Republic takes last place in Basic Human Needs and Foundations of Wellbeing, and Guinea is last in Opportunity.
Does it mean that these countries offer the worst quality of life for young people? Not quite. These countries have enough publically available data to enable us to include them in the index. This is a significant achievement in and of itself.
Between Lebanon (58.46) and the Philippines (60.06) at 58.74
Achieving the best results in Basic Human Needs, followed by Foundations of Well-beiing, with Opportunity the most challenging dimension for young people. And while the world is not a country, and this analysis therefore needs to be considered with caution, it offers an indicative assessment of the overall quality of young people’s lives and the most pressing issues they face globally.
By not including economic indicators, the Social Progress Index model allows an independent assessment of the relationship between social and economic performance. By comparing countries’ performance on the Youth Progress Index with levels of GDP per capita (PPP), we can identify patterns and relationships that can help to understand the effects of economic activity on different aspects of young people’s lives, which can guide policy priorities and implementation.
Overall, the Youth Progress Index has a strong positive relationship (R2=0.857)10 with economic performance (measured by GDP pc PPP). Graph 5 shows that at lower levels of GDP per capita ($0-$10,000), a small increase in GDP is associate witha significant increase in the Youth Progress Index scores. Above $10,000, however, GDP becomes less of a determining factor of youth progress.
It is clear that GDP is not the sole determinant of youth progress, as there are countries with similar levels of GDP, but with hugely different YPI scores.
The Youth Progress Index shows that countries with the highest levels of GDP are not necessarily the top performers with regards to youth progress, and similarly the poorest countries in economic terms are not always those that perform worst.
For any level of economic development, the Youth Progress Index provides examples of both scenarios. Costa Rica and Botswana, for example, are different by more than 21 points (with scores of 74.32 and 53.12 respectively). Similarly, Kazakhstan (60.88) scores lower than Latvia (76.43), despite almost identical levels of GDP per capita.
There are also countries with half the monetary resources of others but with similar Youth Progress Index scores, such the Czech Republic or Slovenia and the United States (Graph 22). This suggests furthermore that money is important for improving youth progress at lower levels of GDP per capita, but as a country reaches a certain level of wealth (beyond GDP of $10,000 per capita), it becomes more and more important to look at other changes, such as structural or policy enablers.
In general, higher economic performance is associated with better achievements on Access to Basic Knowledge (and vice versa).
However, some countries also achieve very good performance on Access to Basic Knowledge despite relatively low levels of GDP per capita.
While the MDGs can also potentially explain part of this success, they do not seem to be the only differentiator.
The Index shows that many countries often have lower GDP per capita but better education outcomes than their economic peers.
The countries highlighted in upper left hand corner of Graph 24 achieve very good performance on Access to Basic Knowledge, despite their relatively low levels of GDP per capita.
The Opportunity dimension poses challenges on many different levels, from data availability to the interpretation of results and identifying solutions, with Inclusion the worst.
Difference with SPI is that YPI covers ALL 17 SDGs. Although Employment rates is an economic indicator, the inequality in access to the labour market is a particular challenge that is very relevant and affects young people’s lives significantly.
Advancing the SDGs for youth
High-Level Political Forum
New York, 16 July 2018
A youth-specific Index
First SPI index looking into the particular realities of an age-
based sub-group of society
What particular challenges do young people face globally?
Youth particularly important in 2030 Agenda discussions:
“Critical agents of change”
Next steps: Using the Youth Progress Index: A tool to
complement other indicators in VNR reports / Shadow reports
If the world
were a country,
0K 10K 20K 30K 40K 50K 60K
Some thoughts resulting from YPI
Lack of age disaggregated data on youth is disempowering,
and needs to be addressed
Need more data to be able to analyse particular challenges
faced by subgroups of youth, including young people with
disabilities, young LGBTIQ, and young migrants
Aim is to find partners willing to make Youth Progress Indexes
for different levels of governance, similar to what SPI is doing
Get in touch!
Dejan Bojanic, Vice-President of the European
Youth Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stephanie Beecroft, Team Leader at European
Youth Forum email@example.com)
John Lisney, Project coordinator of Youth Progress