Pakistan is among one of the worst countries for young people under 25 to live in, according to a new report.
Youthonomics Global Index 2015 compiled data on 64 countries based on a wide range of indicators to assess how youth-friendly each country is. The aim of the findings is to provide information to the youth to make well-informed decisions about whether they should stay where they are or move elsewhere for a better future.
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Columnist Felix Marquardt and his team used data from international organisations like the World Bank, UNESCO and the OECD to decide the world’s best and worst countries for young people. The team also made use of 59 indicators to rank the countries, based on their surveys on optimism among the youth, but also on harder data measuring health, educational opportunities, and access to employment.
According to them, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are the world's youth-friendliest countries, whereas many young people face a lack of prospects in parts of Africa and Asia, including Russia, Egypt, Brazil, Kenya, Mali, South Africa and Pakistan.
Not surprisingly, richer or economically expanding countries are the best places for young people. However, there are other factors that come into play as well. Marquardt writes that young people should be encouraged to go abroad and ‘work visas’ should be available in more countries.
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"For instance, young Swedes are offered the opportunity to take a sabbatical year to explore different professions and countries. Moreover, Norway and Sweden mutualise unemployment data. If there is an unfilled job in Sweden, young Norwegians can be paid to move into their neighbouring country to fill that position,” Marquardt wrote.
"Let young people go abroad. Many of them will come back to their home countries because they miss them, but they will be equipped with new experiences and knowledge they picked up abroad,” he added.
Further, according to the index, China has outranked many South American and European nations such as Spain, Croatia and Italy because of its efforts to alleviate poverty, and its willingness to invest in education. The authors actually consider it to be one of the world's most youth-friendly countries.
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The index also found that labour unions made a lot of difference as far as a country’s attractiveness was concerned. "We noticed that nations where labour unions also advocate for those who are unemployed performed much better in our index," Marquardt said.
He cited Austria as a prime example of this as both youth unemployment rates and poverty levels are low in that country. According to Johannes Kopf, a member of the board of directors at the Austrian Public Employment Service, job flexibility and an education system that allows young people to remain in school while they also take on apprenticeships at companies is one of the most important factor for Austria's low youth unemployment rates.
This article originally appeared on Washington Post