Youth in Spain experience high levels of wellbeing overall, but the rate of unemployment threatens their futures.
Spain’s youth have high levels of wellbeing overall, but the country can improve its performance on citizen participation and economic opportunity.
Spain ties with Mexico for the fewest restrictions on civil liberties for women, a factor which influences its number one ranking in the gender equality domain. Within the health domain, in which Spain is 2nd, the country’s rank is lifted by low rates of adolescent fertility (8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19) and youth self-harm fatalities (8 deaths per 100,000 youth).
Regarding safety and security, Spain has high rankings on measures such as internal peace (6th) and low levels of youth interpersonal violence (1 death per 100,000 youth).
Spain faces its largest challenges in the economic opportunity domain. At 58 percent, the youth unemployment rate is the highest found in any Index country. Some young people who are not working may be pursing further education or training to better their labor market chances; however, Spain also has a relatively high rate of youth not in education, employment or training (NEET, 17 percent). Spain’s expenditures on education (10 percent) are below the Index average (16 percent).
Within the citizen participation domain, Spain is near the median. Only about 19 percent of the country’s young people indicated they had volunteered in the past month, placing Spain 16th among Index countries for this indicator. Results based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index place Spain 5th among Index countries for the democracy indicator.
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
Congruent with the country’s top rank in the gender equality domain, 97 percent of Spanish youth polled believe that women should have the same rights as men. Only 22 percent of women polled fear walking alone at night, the second lowest among Index countries.
Seventy-five percent of Spanish youth believe that their physical health is near perfect, which contributes to the country’s high score in the health domain.
Twenty-six percent are concerned about violence, abuse, bullying, or harassment at school or work.
Only 36 percent of Spanish youth polled believe their standard of living will be better than that of their parents. This response puts the nation on par with countries such as Germany (39 percent) and the United States (44 percent), where the current standard of living is relatively high.
Fourteen percent of Spanish youth who responded to the survey agreed with the statement, “my government cares about my wants and needs.” Only youth respondents in Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil had lower rates of positive response (9 percent, 9 percent, and 7 percent, respectively).