The state of youth in Spain and Europe
The Centro Reina Sofía de la Adolescencia y Juventud de Fad has published the new edition of its Synthetic Index of Comparative Youth Development. This annual index is based on data on education, employment, emancipation, life/health and ICT (Information and communications technologies) usage, and provides a snapshot to compare and measure progress in youth development in the 27 countries of the EU and also to make a comparison between Spanish regions.
Among the main results of the index, the following stand out:
- In Europe, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland hold the top positions. Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania occupy the last positions. Within Spain, the Community of Madrid and the Basque Country are the first, in the average with the EU. Castilla-La Mancha, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands occupy the last positions.
- Spain's poor position in comparison with the rest of the EU has to do fundamentally with the results obtained in the employment and emancipation variables, which weigh down the overall result of the index:
- Youth unemployment (15-29 years) is 29.20% in Spain while in the EU it is 13.30%.
- The temporary nature of youth employment in Spain exceeds 50%, twice as high as in Europe.
- Temporariness and unemployment have a direct impact on the emancipation of young people, and the levels of emancipation that young people had in 2009 have not yet been recovered.
- In Spain, only 6 out of every 100 young people can become emancipated between the ages of 20 and 24, and just over a third do so between the ages of 25 and 29. There is a gap of approximately 19 percentage points with the European average in both cases.
- In comparison with the EU average, Spain is above the EU average in Life/Health and, above all, in the use and management of ICT, which measures youth progress in areas such as Internet access and usage, but also in digital skills in areas such as digital communication, digital information, problem solving and software management of the young population between 16 and 29 years of age.
- In education, the increase in the participation rate in higher education in Spain stands at 33%, almost 10 percentage points higher than in 2009. Another noteworthy indicator is the early school dropout rate, which decreased by almost 15 points in Spain, reducing the gap with the European average. However, this decrease is insufficient, since after Malta, Spain has the worst school dropout rate among EU countries. Another pending subject is the learning of at least two foreign languages: while in Spain it stands at 26.9% in post-compulsory secondary education, in Europe this proportion is around 60%.