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 Djibouti 73.04 2017
2 South Africa 59.36 2020
3 Cabo Verde 50.38 2019
4 Libya 48.70 2012
5 Eswatini 47.06 2016
6 Botswana 46.19 2020
7 Jordan 42.97 2020
8 Costa Rica 40.68 2020
9 Georgia 39.43 2020
10 Algeria 39.31 2017
11 New Caledonia 38.39 2014
12 Spain 38.26 2020
13 Namibia 37.96 2018
14 Somalia 37.38 2019
15 St. Lucia 37.18 2019
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina 36.64 2020
17 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 36.32 1991
18 Montenegro 35.95 2020
19 North Macedonia 35.80 2020
20 Gabon 35.70 2010
21 Lesotho 35.53 2019
22 Greece 34.99 2020
23 Tunisia 34.87 2017
24 Uruguay 33.45 2020
25 Sudan 32.60 2011
26 Armenia 32.28 2020
27 Samoa 31.92 2017
28 Grenada 31.47 1998
29 Brazil 30.50 2020
30 Argentina 30.17 2020
31 Zambia 30.14 2019
32 Nigeria 29.86 2019
33 Saudi Arabia 29.41 2020
34 Italy 29.38 2020
35 Zimbabwe 27.49 2019
36 San Marino 27.40 2016
36 Guyana 27.40 2019
38 Albania 26.98 2019
39 Monaco 26.65 2016
39 Serbia 26.65 2020
41 Nauru 26.57 2013
42 Suriname 26.49 2016
43 Brunei 26.42 2020
44 Barbados 26.03 2019
45 Dominica 25.84 2001
46 Colombia 25.80 2020
46 The Gambia 25.80 2018
48 Iraq 25.57 2017
49 Turkey 25.09 2020
50 Chile 24.91 2020
51 Mauritius 24.55 2020
52 Puerto Rico 24.53 2008
52 Yemen 24.53 2014
54 The Bahamas 24.10 2018
55 Sweden 23.95 2020
56 Iran 23.73 2020
57 Lebanon 23.35 2019
58 Luxembourg 23.20 2020
59 Portugal 22.55 2020
60 Kiribati 22.48 2019
61 Jamaica 22.41 2021
62 Panama 22.37 2021
63 Morocco 22.24 2016
64 Rwanda 21.72 2020
65 Nepal 21.36 2017
65 Finland 21.36 2020
67 Mauritania 21.15 2017
68 Croatia 21.11 2020
69 Sri Lanka 21.03 2019
70 São Tomé and Principe 20.82 2012
71 Tuvalu 20.64 2016
72 Syrian Arab Republic 20.38 2010
73 France 20.15 2020
74 Antigua and Barbuda 19.84 2001
75 India 19.82 2020
76 Lithuania 19.56 2020
77 Comoros 19.47 2014
78 Slovak Republic 19.35 2020
79 Belize 19.30 2019
80 Ukraine 19.26 2020
81 Liberia 18.42 2017
82 Cyprus 18.23 2020
83 Lao PDR 18.18 2017
84 Vanuatu 18.04 2019
85 Haiti 17.90 1999
86 Mongolia 17.89 2020
87 Estonia 17.87 2020
88 Honduras 17.84 2020
89 Romania 17.34 2020
90 Egypt 17.33 2020
90 Angola 17.33 2014
92 Paraguay 17.09 2020
93 Russia 16.96 2020
94 Niger 16.62 2017
94 Congo 16.62 2009
96 Seychelles 16.51 2020
97 Afghanistan 16.20 2020
98 Bolivia 16.07 2020
99 Uganda 15.56 2017
100 Oman 15.47 2020
101 Hong Kong SAR, China 15.46 2020
102 Kuwait 15.43 2016
103 Fiji 15.40 2016
104 Belgium 15.33 2020
105 Ireland 15.26 2020
106 Dominican Republic 14.92 2020
107 Latvia 14.87 2020
108 Indonesia 14.80 2020
109 Bulgaria 14.22 2020
110 Slovenia 14.19 2020
111 United Arab Emirates 13.98 2020
112 Cayman Islands 13.79 2015
113 Venezuela 13.65 2020
114 Canada 13.50 2021
115 Timor-Leste 13.19 2016
116 Uzbekistan 13.18 2020
117 Kenya 12.85 2019
118 Hungary 12.76 2020
118 Bangladesh 12.76 2017
120 Peru 12.57 2020
121 Azerbaijan 12.44 2019
122 New Zealand 12.42 2020
123 Belarus 12.04 2020
124 Malaysia 12.02 2020
125 Denmark 11.61 2020
126 El Salvador 11.56 2020
127 Kyrgyz Republic 11.52 2020
128 Norway 11.32 2020
129 Australia 11.27 2021
130 United Kingdom 11.16 2019
131 Ecuador 11.07 2020
132 St. Kitts and Nevis 11.02 2001
133 Moldova 10.86 2020
134 Poland 10.83 2020
135 Malta 10.73 2020
135 Bhutan 10.73 2015
137 Singapore 10.60 2020
138 Austria 10.48 2020
139 Korea 10.26 2020
140 Iceland 10.03 2020
141 United States 9.73 2021
142 Pakistan 9.56 2019
143 Togo 9.51 2017
144 Netherlands 9.11 2020
145 Ghana 9.07 2017
146 Tonga 8.93 2018
147 Trinidad and Tobago 8.71 2016
148 Dem. Rep. Congo 8.68 2012
149 Burkina Faso 8.62 2018
150 Switzerland 8.61 2020
151 Nicaragua 8.46 2014
152 Macao SAR, China 8.14 2020
153 Mexico 8.12 2020
154 Czech Republic 7.95 2020
155 Israel 7.92 2020
156 Vietnam 7.63 2020
157 Mozambique 7.41 2015
158 Germany 7.22 2020
159 Guinea 7.14 2019
160 Philippines 7.03 2020
161 Cameroon 6.29 2014
162 Cuba 6.08 2010
163 Tajikistan 5.93 2007
164 Palau 5.61 2014
165 Côte d'Ivoire 5.52 2017
166 Bahrain 5.30 2012
167 Thailand 5.16 2020
168 Japan 4.60 2021
169 Guatemala 4.57 2019
170 Senegal 4.05 2019
171 Guinea-Bissau 4.04 2018
172 Benin 3.91 2018
173 Tanzania 3.89 2014
174 Kazakhstan 3.78 2020
175 Papua New Guinea 3.61 2010
176 Sierra Leone 3.58 2018
177 Ethiopia 3.53 2013
178 Madagascar 3.44 2015
179 Burundi 2.94 2014
180 Cambodia 2.52 2019
181 Mali 2.44 2018
182 Malawi 1.87 2020
183 Chad 1.53 2018
184 Myanmar 1.52 2019
185 Solomon Islands 1.33 2013
186 Qatar 0.46 2020

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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.