Nigeria’s youth face multiple challenges across domains, but those surveyed express optimism about their economic future.
Nigeria ranks in the bottom third of countries in the Index, with an overall rank of 29th. It is outranked by its Sub-Saharan African neighbors in the Index on most domains except health.
Within the health domain, tobacco use among young Nigerians is relatively low (9 percent). Although adolescent fertility—at 109 births per 1,000 young women—remains significantly higher than the Index and world averages, it has been following a downward trend. These high fertility rates have created a very young population: roughly 62 percent of the country is under the age of 25.
Providing economic opportunities to Nigeria’s youth as they enter the job market is a challenging task. However, Nigeria performs well in some of the economic opportunity indicators. The country ranks first in early-stage entrepreneurial activity; about 40 percent of youth are engaged in such endeavors. A high rate of business start-ups among youth can be an indication that the formal economy is not creating sufficient job opportunities.
Nigeria ranks 28th in both the education and safety and security domains. Despite an increase in the literacy rate to 73 percent in 2015, it remains significantly lower than the Index average of 96 percent. Nigeria has the lowest score for internal peace among all Index countries.
Nigerian youth do not have equal and widespread access to information and communication technology. Only 10 percent of youth report that they have computers at home, and about 36 percent have access to the internet.
Nigeria’s low rank in the gender equality domain (29th) is primarily a result of the very high rate of marriage among 15- to 19-year-old girls (28 percent)—the highest among Index countries.
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
Despite challenges, Nigeria’s youth appear optimistic about their future quality of life. Ninety percent of youth surveyed say their standard of living will be better than that of their parents.
However, only 78 percent of youth surveyed by IYF in the country think that their government does not care about their wants and needs.
Somewhat surprisingly, Nigerian youth report being the most stress-free of young people in any Index country. Just 22 percent of Nigerian youth surveyed say their lives are too stressful.