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China Daily Global / 2021-12 / 30 / Page004

Report affirms China's youth development

By ZOU SHUO | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-12-30 00:00

Countries like the US get high education scores but dragged by drug, health issues

China ranks 23rd among 85 countries in the development of young people as the country has regarded its youth as the most powerful force of social and economic development and prioritized their development, a recent report said.

The International Youth Sustainable Development Index Report 2021 is based on 17 indicators in five domains: health and well-being, education, employment and opportunity, family and society, and civic participation.

The report was conducted by China Youth and Children Research Center, China International Youth Exchange Center, the Center for Youth Moral Education at Tsinghua University, and the Research Center for Contemporary China at Peking University.

The top 10 countries include four Asian countries (Singapore, Israel, Bahrain and Kuwait), five European countries (Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland and Austria) and one country from Oceania (Australia).Meanwhile, in terms of development level, the top 10 countries include eight developed countries and two developing countries.

By comparing the youth development index with per capita GDP, the report found that the level of youth development is basically on a par with the level of economic development.

However, some developed countries, including the United States, score rather low in the health and well-being domain. This is mainly because they scored considerably lower in the indicators of youth drug abuse and weight, which indicates that these issues pose a big threat to the health of their young people and would hamper their future development, the report said.

In the education domain, Asian countries rank relatively low, and the report suggested that Asian countries should invest more resources in youth education.

In addition, all the top 10 ranking countries in the education domain are developed countries. This means developed countries still hold a huge advantage over developing countries in terms of educational resources and talent development. Such a gap demands closer attention from developing countries, since the level of education of young people is directly related to the country's potential for future development, the report said.

In terms of employment, only three of the 10 highest ranking countries are developed countries. The distribution is relatively balanced across regions and development levels, which shows that developing economies have made substantial efforts to promote employment and create opportunities for young people, it said.

In the family and society domain, it should be noted that some countries such as Chad, India, Benin and Niger come up high on the list, far ahead of their overall youth development ranking, and there's only one European country (Romania) and one developed economy, (Singapore) among the top 10 countries.

This indicates that levels of family and marital happiness and societal safety are not necessarily related to geographical location or socio-economic development. If a country neglects its young people's marital, family and societal safety needs while its economy makes strides, overall development will be deterred, the report said.

In terms of civic participation, the distribution of top-ranking countries is relatively balanced across regions and development levels, indicating that all countries around the world have actively advocated young people's civic participation and have achieved considerable progress in this regard, it said.

China ranks ninth in this domain. This testifies to the notable progress the country has made in fostering social inclusion and promoting the civic participation of its young people, the report added.

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