What is the Global Youth Wellbeing Index?

The inaugural Global Youth Wellbeing Index gathers and connects youth-related data to assess and compare the state of young people’s wellbeing around the world. The Index is designed to facilitate both thought and action by elevating youth needs and opportunities and young people’s participation on national and global agendas. It also provides public and private sector decision-makers an easier way to understand the big picture, guide actions and investments, and drive progress over time. The Index ranks 30 high- to low-income countries in five regions that represent nearly 70 percent of the world’s youth. In addition to data availability and consistency, representative countries were selected for inclusion in this inaugural Index to ensure regional and income diversity.  If a country is not included, it does not necessarily imply data gaps, nor any analytical judgment on the level of youth wellbeing.

With half the world’s population under the age of 25 it is increasingly evident that national growth and global development, prosperity and security are dependent upon addressing youth needs and harnessing their potential. Yet due in part to disparate and inconsistent data, we don’t have a sufficient understanding of how young people are faring or feeling in their lives. As a result, the needs and aspirations of young people are often unexposed and remain marginalized.

In response, The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) partnered to develop this Index as the flagship project of the Youth, Prosperity and Security Initiative.

The Index ranks 30 high- to low-income countries in five regions that represent nearly 70 percent of the world’s youth.

Overall Ranking

This joint effort is an outgrowth of a commitment made at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative by IYF and Hilton Worldwide to develop a youth-centered index. More than 50 experts and stakeholders from 35 public and private organizations were consulted in its development.
The Index is comprised of 40 indicators grounded in economic and social growth and positive youth development theory and practice. They reflect the national enabling environment, youth specific outcomes, and youths’ outlook and satisfaction levels across six domains: citizen participation, economic opportunities, education, health, information and communications technology and safety and security. The data is drawn from public and independent sources (see Methodology Report) that generally measure youth from 12-25 years of age.



The Global Youth Wellbeing Index website is the product of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Ideas Lab, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ internal multimedia production studio. The Index project is in partnership with International Youth Foundation, and was made possible with the financial support of Hilton Worldwide.