Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (national estimate) - Country Ranking

Definition: Youth unemployment refers to the share of the labor force ages 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment. Definitions of labor force and unemployment differ by country.

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in December 2019.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 South Africa 53.43 2018
2 Libya 48.70 2012
3 Eswatini 47.06 2016
4 St. Lucia 46.24 2016
5 North Macedonia 45.43 2018
6 Malawi 40.50 2017
7 Congo 40.04 2005
8 Greece 39.90 2018
9 Algeria 39.31 2017
10 New Caledonia 38.39 2014
11 Namibia 37.96 2018
12 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 36.32 1991
13 Armenia 36.05 2013
14 Botswana 35.99 2010
15 Gabon 35.70 2010
16 Tunisia 35.04 2015
17 Lesotho 34.43 2013
18 Spain 34.34 2018
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina 33.79 2019
20 Sudan 32.60 2011
21 Italy 32.19 2018
22 Samoa 31.92 2017
23 Albania 31.90 2017
24 Grenada 31.47 1998
25 Georgia 29.90 2018
26 Serbia 29.72 2018
27 Barbados 29.61 2016
28 Egypt 29.55 2017
29 Montenegro 29.43 2018
30 Brunei 28.89 2017
31 Saudi Arabia 28.82 2018
32 Brazil 28.54 2018
33 Cabo Verde 27.77 2018
34 Iran 27.65 2018
35 San Marino 27.40 2016
36 Monaco 26.65 2016
37 Nauru 26.57 2013
38 Uruguay 25.92 2018
39 Dominica 25.84 2001
40 The Bahamas 25.84 2016
41 Iraq 25.57 2017
42 Puerto Rico 24.53 2008
43 Yemen 24.53 2014
44 Jamaica 24.17 2018
45 Zambia 23.99 2017
46 Mauritius 23.87 2018
47 Argentina 23.73 2018
48 Croatia 23.71 2018
49 India 22.53 2018
50 Morocco 22.24 2016
51 Costa Rica 22.23 2011
52 Lebanon 22.10 2007
53 Guyana 21.50 2017
54 Nepal 21.36 2017
55 Sri Lanka 21.05 2016
56 São Tomé and Principe 20.82 2012
57 France 20.78 2018
58 Tuvalu 20.64 2016
59 Rwanda 20.62 2018
60 Syrian Arab Republic 20.38 2010
61 Portugal 20.31 2018
62 Cyprus 20.17 2018
63 Turkey 20.16 2018
64 Antigua and Barbuda 19.84 2001
65 Comoros 19.47 2014
66 Angola 19.42 2010
67 Colombia 18.52 2018
68 Lao PDR 18.18 2017
69 Chile 18.15 2018
70 Ukraine 17.95 2018
71 Afghanistan 17.57 2017
72 Kiribati 17.12 2015
73 Finland 17.03 2018
74 Russia 16.96 2018
75 Mali 16.91 2018
76 Mongolia 16.81 2018
77 Sweden 16.81 2018
78 Indonesia 16.50 2018
79 Zimbabwe 16.45 2014
80 Romania 16.24 2018
81 Venezuela 16.20 2013
82 Belgium 15.76 2018
83 Haiti 15.59 2012
84 Kuwait 15.43 2016
85 Fiji 15.40 2016
86 Belize 15.31 2017
87 Mauritania 15.22 2012
88 Slovak Republic 14.95 2018
89 Uganda 14.83 2017
90 Peru 14.66 2018
91 Paraguay 14.55 2018
92 Kyrgyz Republic 14.19 2018
93 Luxembourg 14.18 2018
94 Nigeria 13.80 2017
95 Cayman Islands 13.79 2015
96 Ireland 13.75 2018
97 Oman 13.71 2016
98 Dominican Republic 13.49 2017
99 Azerbaijan 13.42 2015
100 Suriname 13.41 2015
101 Timor-Leste 13.19 2016
102 The Gambia 13.06 2012
103 Bangladesh 12.76 2017
104 Bulgaria 12.68 2018
105 Latvia 12.20 2018
106 Estonia 11.84 2018
107 Australia 11.78 2018
108 Poland 11.75 2018
109 Seychelles 11.58 2018
110 New Zealand 11.52 2018
111 United Kingdom 11.30 2018
112 Lithuania 11.11 2018
113 Canada 11.11 2018
114 Tajikistan 11.06 2009
115 St. Kitts and Nevis 11.02 2001
116 Bhutan 10.73 2015
117 Honduras 10.66 2018
118 Belarus 10.65 2018
119 Malaysia 10.46 2016
120 Korea 10.25 2018
121 Panama 10.23 2018
122 Hungary 10.17 2018
123 Norway 9.69 2018
124 El Salvador 9.61 2018
125 Sierra Leone 9.45 2014
126 Austria 9.39 2018
127 Denmark 9.35 2018
128 Singapore 9.13 2016
129 Ghana 9.07 2017
130 Malta 9.06 2018
131 Vanuatu 8.89 2009
132 Slovenia 8.81 2018
133 Trinidad and Tobago 8.71 2016
134 Hong Kong SAR, China 8.70 2017
135 Burkina Faso 8.70 2014
136 Dem. Rep. Congo 8.68 2012
137 United States 8.61 2018
138 Nicaragua 8.46 2014
139 Senegal 8.05 2015
140 Ecuador 7.95 2018
141 Switzerland 7.95 2018
142 Pakistan 7.85 2018
143 Mozambique 7.41 2015
144 Moldova 7.37 2018
145 Kenya 7.36 2016
146 Netherlands 7.16 2018
147 Israel 7.15 2018
148 Vietnam 6.92 2018
149 United Arab Emirates 6.92 2018
150 Bolivia 6.91 2018
151 Mexico 6.86 2018
152 Czech Republic 6.73 2018
153 Philippines 6.67 2018
154 Cameroon 6.29 2014
155 Germany 6.20 2018
156 Cuba 6.08 2010
157 Iceland 6.08 2018
158 Guinea 5.67 2002
159 Benin 5.63 2011
160 Palau 5.61 2014
161 Côte d'Ivoire 5.52 2017
162 Bahrain 5.30 2012
163 Macao SAR, China 5.30 2017
164 Guatemala 5.03 2017
165 Tanzania 3.89 2014
166 Togo 3.88 2015
167 Kazakhstan 3.78 2017
168 Papua New Guinea 3.61 2010
169 Japan 3.60 2018
170 Ethiopia 3.53 2013
171 Burundi 2.94 2014
172 Thailand 2.40 2013
173 Liberia 2.30 2016
174 Myanmar 1.97 2018
175 Solomon Islands 1.33 2013
176 Cambodia 1.11 2016
177 Madagascar 0.99 2012
178 Niger 0.70 2014
179 Qatar 0.41 2018

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Development Relevance: Paradoxically, low unemployment rates can disguise substantial poverty in a country, while high unemployment rates can occur in countries with a high level of economic development and low rates of poverty. In countries without unemployment or welfare benefits people eke out a living in vulnerable employment. In countries with well-developed safety nets workers can afford to wait for suitable or desirable jobs. But high and sustained unemployment indicates serious inefficiencies in resource allocation. Youth unemployment is an important policy issue for many economies. Young men and women today face increasing uncertainty in their hopes of undergoing a satisfactory transition in the labour market, and this uncertainty and disillusionment can, in turn, have damaging effects on individuals, communities, economies and society at large. Unemployed or underemployed youth are less able to contribute effectively to national development and have fewer opportunities to exercise their rights as citizens. They have less to spend as consumers, less to invest as savers and often have no "voice" to bring about change in their lives and communities. Widespread youth unemployment and underemployment also prevents companies and countries from innovating and developing competitive advantages based on human capital investment, thus undermining future prospects. Unemployment is a key measure to monitor whether a country is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. [SDG Indicator 8.5.2]

Limitations and Exceptions: The criteria for people considered to be seeking work, and the treatment of people temporarily laid off or seeking work for the first time, vary across countries. In many cases it is especially difficult to measure employment and unemployment in agriculture. The timing of a survey can maximize the effects of seasonal unemployment in agriculture. And informal sector employment is difficult to quantify where informal activities are not tracked. There may be also persons not currently in the labour market who want to work but do not actively "seek" work because they view job opportunities as limited, or because they have restricted labour mobility, or face discrimination, or structural, social or cultural barriers. The exclusion of people who want to work but are not seeking work (often called the "hidden unemployed" or "discouraged workers") is a criterion that will affect the unemployment count of both women and men. However, women tend to be excluded from the count for various reasons. Women suffer more from discrimination and from structural, social, and cultural barriers that impede them from seeking work. Also, women are often responsible for the care of children and the elderly and for household affairs. They may not be available for work during the short reference period, as they need to make arrangements before starting work. Further, women are considered to be employed when they are working part-time or in temporary jobs, despite the instability of these jobs or their active search for more secure employment.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The standard definition of unemployed persons is those individuals without work, seeking work in a recent past period, and currently available for work, including people who have lost their jobs or who have voluntarily left work. Persons who did not look for work but have an arrangements for a future job are also counted as unemployed. Some unemployment is unavoidable. At any time some workers are temporarily unemployed between jobs as employers look for the right workers and workers search for better jobs. It is the labour force or the economically active portion of the population that serves as the base for this indicator, not the total population.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The series for ILO estimates is also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.