Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO 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.

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 53.18 2019
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina 47.36 2019
3 Eswatini 45.80 2019
4 North Macedonia 45.31 2019
5 Namibia 44.79 2019
6 St. Lucia 44.32 2019
7 Libya 42.03 2019
8 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 41.52 2019
9 Greece 39.27 2019
10 Botswana 37.52 2019
11 Jordan 36.68 2019
12 Armenia 35.98 2019
13 New Caledonia 35.54 2019
14 Gabon 35.17 2019
15 Tunisia 34.81 2019
16 Spain 33.23 2019
17 Lesotho 33.01 2019
18 Egypt 32.43 2019
19 Serbia 32.23 2019
20 Georgia 30.92 2019
21 Algeria 30.84 2019
22 Albania 30.71 2019
23 Brunei 29.79 2019
24 Haiti 29.74 2019
25 Montenegro 29.71 2019
26 Italy 28.70 2019
27 Iran 28.58 2019
28 Barbados 27.88 2019
29 Brazil 27.78 2019
30 Sudan 27.05 2019
31 Argentina 26.48 2019
32 Saudi Arabia 25.55 2019
33 Jamaica 25.35 2019
34 Somalia 24.89 2019
35 Puerto Rico 24.70 2019
36 The Bahamas 24.64 2019
37 Uruguay 24.54 2019
38 Mali 24.45 2019
39 Croatia 24.08 2019
40 Mauritius 23.65 2019
41 Yemen 23.39 2019
42 Cabo Verde 23.27 2019
43 Congo 22.97 2019
44 Guyana 22.96 2019
45 Sri Lanka 22.72 2019
46 Morocco 21.94 2019
47 Turkey 21.31 2019
48 Djibouti 21.27 2019
49 Costa Rica 21.17 2019
50 France 20.96 2019
51 Tajikistan 20.96 2019
52 São Tomé and Principe 20.33 2019
53 Belize 19.88 2019
54 Ukraine 19.74 2019
55 Nigeria 19.58 2019
56 Syrian Arab Republic 19.56 2019
57 Colombia 19.23 2019
58 Chile 19.19 2019
59 Equatorial Guinea 18.63 2019
60 Sweden 18.45 2019
61 Samoa 18.41 2019
62 Kenya 18.34 2019
63 Cyprus 18.26 2019
64 Belgium 17.85 2019
65 Portugal 17.73 2019
66 Lebanon 17.62 2019
67 Venezuela 17.49 2019
68 Angola 17.10 2019
69 Finland 16.96 2019
70 Slovak Republic 16.94 2019
71 Mongolia 16.53 2019
72 Iraq 16.52 2019
73 Indonesia 16.15 2019
74 Suriname 16.06 2019
75 Mauritania 16.01 2019
76 Zambia 15.94 2019
77 Luxembourg 15.58 2019
78 Latvia 15.51 2019
79 Kyrgyz Republic 15.17 2019
80 Romania 15.02 2019
81 Russia 14.79 2019
82 Fiji 14.50 2019
83 Kuwait 14.37 2019
84 Azerbaijan 14.23 2019
85 Ghana 13.69 2019
86 Lithuania 13.64 2019
87 Dominican Republic 13.25 2019
88 New Zealand 12.54 2019
89 The Gambia 12.32 2019
90 Australia 12.13 2019
91 Ireland 12.02 2019
92 Bangladesh 11.92 2019
93 Estonia 11.88 2019
94 Canada 11.81 2019
95 Malaysia 11.67 2019
96 Eritrea 11.57 2019
97 Central African Republic 11.53 2019
98 Bulgaria 11.49 2019
99 Slovenia 11.17 2019
100 Paraguay 11.16 2019
101 Malta 10.87 2019
102 Vanuatu 10.85 2019
103 China 10.65 2019
104 United Kingdom 10.58 2019
105 India 10.51 2019
106 Timor-Leste 10.45 2019
107 Norway 10.34 2019
108 Uzbekistan 10.30 2019
109 Korea 10.29 2019
110 Poland 10.14 2019
111 Belarus 10.06 2019
112 Moldova 10.03 2019
113 Panama 10.02 2019
114 El Salvador 9.71 2019
115 Bhutan 9.69 2019
116 Hungary 9.27 2019
117 Nicaragua 9.25 2019
118 Ecuador 9.11 2019
119 Denmark 9.04 2019
120 Austria 8.66 2019
121 Sierra Leone 8.49 2019
122 Comoros 8.46 2019
123 Singapore 8.43 2019
124 Oman 8.41 2019
125 Senegal 8.40 2019
126 Switzerland 8.37 2019
127 United States 8.37 2019
128 Zimbabwe 8.13 2019
129 Burkina Faso 8.12 2019
130 Hong Kong SAR, China 8.03 2019
131 Dem. Rep. Congo 7.96 2019
132 Honduras 7.88 2019
133 Czech Republic 7.85 2019
134 United Arab Emirates 7.62 2019
135 Turkmenistan 7.55 2019
136 Iceland 7.54 2019
137 Bolivia 7.53 2019
138 Guinea-Bissau 7.43 2019
139 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 7.30 2019
140 Malawi 7.07 2019
141 Mexico 7.03 2019
142 Netherlands 6.98 2019
143 Vietnam 6.94 2019
144 Israel 6.86 2019
145 Mozambique 6.81 2019
146 Philippines 6.78 2019
147 Peru 6.42 2019
148 Trinidad and Tobago 6.41 2019
149 Pakistan 6.01 2019
150 Germany 5.72 2019
151 Cameroon 5.69 2019
152 Guatemala 5.59 2019
153 Cuba 5.51 2019
154 Bahrain 5.31 2019
155 Macao SAR, China 5.15 2019
156 Kazakhstan 4.84 2019
157 Solomon Islands 4.48 2019
158 Guinea 4.37 2019
159 Papua New Guinea 4.35 2019
160 Chad 4.08 2019
161 Japan 4.07 2019
162 Benin 3.98 2019
163 Myanmar 3.87 2019
164 Thailand 3.65 2019
165 Tanzania 3.43 2019
166 Côte d'Ivoire 3.40 2019
167 Tonga 3.38 2019
168 Liberia 2.92 2019
169 Burundi 2.87 2019
170 Ethiopia 2.76 2019
171 Uganda 2.73 2019
172 Madagascar 2.69 2019
173 Afghanistan 2.60 2019
174 Togo 2.53 2019
175 Nepal 2.13 2019
176 Rwanda 1.64 2019
177 Lao PDR 1.57 2019
178 Cambodia 1.25 2019
179 Qatar 0.62 2019
180 Niger 0.37 2019

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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. The series is part of the ILO estimates and is harmonized to ensure comparability across countries and over time by accounting for differences in data source, scope of coverage, methodology, and other country-specific factors. The estimates are based mainly on nationally representative labor force surveys, with other sources (population censuses and nationally reported estimates) used only when no survey data are available.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: National estimates are also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.