Case 4 space 2.2. background document layne robinson_commonwealth secretariat
1. Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016
South Asia Brief
South Asia is home to 477 million young people who represent 26 per cent of the world’s
total youth population, making this group the second largest regional youth population after
Asia-Pacific. India’s 345 million young people account for nearly three-quarters of South
Asian youth. With youth constituting nearly 28 per cent of the region’s population, South
Asia has the largest youth bulge among all the regions.
Of the eight countries in South Asia, only Maldives is an upper-middle-income country, while
all others are either low or lower-middle-income countries.
Youth Development in South Asia: Brief Overview
South Asia ranks eighth out of the nine world regions in its over-all level of youth
development in the 2016 YDI. Its scores in the domains of Education, Employment and
Opportunity, and Civic Participation are lower than the global average for these domains.
Figure 1 shows the regional YDI change in South Asia between 2010 and 2015. Between 2010
and 2015, South Asian countries made slow progress in youth development, improving their
YDI scores by slightly less than 3 per cent. There were significant gains in the domains of
Employment and Opportunity and Education, which were offset by a large fall in Civic
Participation. Of the eight countries in the region, five improved their YDI scores, with the
largest improvements being in Sri Lanka and India.
Figure 1: Change in South Asia’s over-all YDI score, 2010-2015
2. Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016
South Asia Brief
Notable changes between 2010 and 2015
Sri Lanka’s over-all YDI score improved by 12%
India’s over-all YDI score improved by 11%
Pakistan’s over-all YDI score declined by 18%
Sri Lanka: Key Highlights
Sri Lanka is the best country in South Asia to be a young person. Although Sri Lanka’s
global rank is 31, it is the highest-ranked South Asian country in the 2016 YDI and
the only one to fall in the ‘very high’ YDI category.
Between 2010 and 2015, Sri Lanka registered an impressive improvement of 12% in
its youth development scores.
o Sri Lanka’s YDI score was boosted by significant improvements in the domains
of Employment and Opportunity (41%) and Political Participation (23%).
o The progress in these two domains was driven primarily by improvements in
the following indicators:
Sri Lanka had a significant drop in its indicator score for NEET (young
people who are not in Education, Employment or Training)
The percentage of young people with an account at a formal financial
institution increased by 24%.
Adolescent fertility rate dropped by 22%.
Sri Lanka adopted a new youth policy in 2014.
Notwithstanding the progress, Sri Lanka also experienced a rise in youth to adult
unemployment rate (29%) and a fall in the percentage of young people who voiced
opinion to an official (12% decline).
Pakistan: Key Highlights
Of the 183 countries covered in the youth development index (YDI), Pakistan ranks
in its over-all youth development level, below Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh, India,
o Pakistan’s low score in the YDI is explained by its significantly low scores in
the areas of education, financial inclusion and political participation.
Pakistan scores below the South Asian average in all domains of the YDI
except Health and Well-being.
Compared to its neighbours and other developing countries, Pakistan is particularly
trailing behind in the domain of Education. Except Afghanistan, all other South Asian
countries have better scores than Pakistan in the domain of education. For example:
o Only 42% of children in Pakistan are enrolled in secondary schools. The South
Asia and global score for the same indicator are 68% and 81% respectively.
o Similarly, the youth literacy rate in Pakistan is approximately 76% whereas
the South Asian and Global score for the same indicator are 85% and 91%
3. Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016
South Asia Brief
In addition to indicators on education, Pakistan, in comparison to its neighbours and
other developing countries, also scores particularly low on financial inclusion. The
proportion of young people with an account at a formal financial institution is the
indicator for financial inclusion in the YDI.
o Only 6% youth in Pakistan have an account at a formal financial institution.
The South Asia and global figures for the same indicator are 31% and 42%
Of all the countries included in the index, Pakistan recorded the largest decline (18%)
in its youth development score between 2010 and 2015.
This decline has been brought about by a dramatic fall in the country’s scores
in the domains of Civic Participation (58 per cent) and Political Participation
(69 per cent). The indicators that contributed the most to this decline are:
voiced an opinion to an official, existence of a youth policy, volunteered
time, and helped a stranger. In particular, Pakistan’s lack of a youth policy—
which is the primary indicator for the domain of political participation—has
driven the fall in its score. Youth affairs became a provincial subject after
the adoption of the 81th amendment. As of 2015, only the Punjab province
had an approved youth policy.
India: Key Highlights
There are nearly 345 million young people in India between the ages of 15 and 30,
accounting for close to 20% of the global youth population.
Of the 183 countries covered in the youth development index (YDI), India rank 133rd
in its over-all youth development level, below Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and China.
Between 2010 and 2015, India’s YDI score improved by 11 per cent, the second
largest improvement by a country in South Asia after Sri Lanka.
o The improvement in India’s score is explained by a significant rise in the
proportion of young people with an account at a formal financial institution
(58% increase), reduction in the adolescent fertility rate (29% fall), adoption
of a new youth policy, and improvement in the gross secondary enrolment
rate (9% rise).
Notwithstanding the progress, India continues to trail behind the South Asian
average in its over-all level of youth development.
The domains where India’s performance is particularly worrisome are Education,
Employment and Opportunity and Health and Wellbeing. For example:
In India, one in every three children (31%) is not enrolled in secondary
schools. The global figure for children not enrolled in secondary school
is 19%. Youth to adult unemployment rate improved by 29%.
o In the Health and Wellbeing domain, India performs below the South Asian
average. Except Afghanistan, all other South Asian countries including
Pakistan and Bangladesh outperform India in the domain of Health and
Wellbeing. India’s low score in the Health & wellbeing domain is explained
4. Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016
South Asia Brief
by its high youth mortality rates and years of life lost due to mental
o India trails behind the rest of the world significantly in the domain of
Employment and Opportunity. India ranks 152nd
in this domain.
China, which has a youth population of 525 million, is doing significantly better
than India in the domains of education, health and employment. For instance,
while 69% of India’s children are enrolled in secondary education, the
corresponding figure for China is 96%; the youth mortality rate for India is almost
2.5 times that of China’s.
Sri Lanka 1 31 0.731 17 108 24 95 54 Very
Maldives 2 62 0.665 95 110 100 17 72 High -0.6%
Bhutan 3 69 0.657 22 122 137 94 27 High 2%
Nepal 4 77 0.647 123 135 60 85 11 High 7%
India 5 133 0.548 142 132 152 116 54 Medium 11%
Bangladesh 6 146 0.492 99 145 177 102 140 Low 0%
Pakistan 7 154 0.470 154 156 154 77 165 Low -18%
Afghanistan 8 167 0.440 130 167 178 140 81 Low 8%