YT Annual Retrospection: Young People In 2016


With 1.8 billion people between the ages of 15 and 29, the world is home to more young people today than ever before. Unemployment, forced migrations, social exclusion – globally, the outlook for young people is in decline; but still, 2016 has seen some progress. This review of the year offers some of the highlights.

Young people are traveling more than ever before

Young people are often money poor but time rich, which means that they can spend more time traveling than a typical tourist. Many young people today decide to take time off from their work or school to go out and explore the world – you probably know someone yourself whose photos of amazing places from around the world make you want to do the same.

According to MMGY Global, six out of ten millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than material things. Or to put it in other words, 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience or event than buying something tangible, based on data from Harris/Eventbrite.

Thus, travelers aged 15 to 29 accounted for an estimated 23% of international travelers in 2015. Young travelers are relatively intrepid and unlikely to be phased by economic problems, political unrest, or epidemics. Fewer job openings can actually encourage young people to travel or gain work experience abroad during a gap year. And this year they did it more than ever before.

Youth Olympic Games 2016 held in Lillehammer

Held between 12th and 21st February this year, Youth Olympic Games 2016 brought together 1100 young athletes from 71 countries from across the world, making it one of the most important youth events of the year.

The Youth Olympic Games is an international sporting event organized by the International Olympic Committee, consistent with the current format of Olympic Games. The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18. The 2016 Youth Olympic Games featured 7 sports and 15 disciplines and was a spectacular international event celebrating unity, health, and a positive spirit.

The next Youth Summer Olympic Games will be held in Buenos Aires in October of 2018.

The civic and political participation of young people improved globally

The all-round development of young people is improving in most parts of the world, though at a very slow pace, according to the Global Youth Development Index 2016. And one of the categories of the Index, the civic and political participation of young people at a global level, is assessed as having slightly increased between 2010 and 2015.

The participation of young people was also one of the priorities of the United Nations in 2016, which has given a strong signal that it places a significant emphasis on the active participation of youth in public decision making.

The skills and knowledge of young people has improved

In early December 2016, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the results of their international student assessment, called Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is one of the most prominent international education assessments. The OECD’s research indicated that some countries made significant improvements in their education systems.

Examining data from 42 countries and economies from 2000 to 2015, the OECD found that the following places have made steady gains in reading: Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Macao, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Russia. According to Quartz, Chile, Israel, and Russia improved the most. Among all 72 PISA participants, 11 improved in math, led by Argentina and Qatar. However, of the 64 countries/economies with legitimate results from more than one PISA round, 31 show no significant change in average science performance, with 15 countries improving significantly and 18 declining. Countries that showed measurable gains in science include both high-fliers Singapore and Macao.

PISA is undertaken once every three years and tests 15-year-olds’ abilities in the core academic disciplines of reading, math, and science.


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