Egypt faces challenges in nearly every domain of youth wellbeing, but young people surveyed remain largely optimistic about their future.
The Index points to a number of challenges faced by Egypt in nearly every domain of youth wellbeing, with the exceptions of health and safety and security, to some extent. The country places at or near the bottom for citizen participation, economic opportunity, education, and gender equality. As a result, Egypt ranks 28th for overall youth wellbeing.
Within the citizen participation domain, Egyptian youth report a very low level of volunteer activity (3 percent). Post-revolution, this rate has dramatically decreased based on surveys from prior years; in 2013, 17 percent of youth reported volunteering. The country also has a high minimum age for running for office (30 years), which limits direct youth participation in governance.
Egypt ranks 29th for economic opportunity. A youth unemployment rate of 42 percent and a low global competitiveness score explain the country’s position in this domain. Egypt’s GDP per capita remains significantly lower than the Index average, with a relatively slow rate of increase over the last 10 years. In 2015, it was US$2,707, compared to the Index average of US $14,769.
In terms of education, public spending appears to have declined. The latest available data is for 2008, at which point education expenditures were at 10 percent. This is significantly lower than the Index average for that year of 15 percent.
With a rank of 17th, Egypt performs toward the median in the safety and security domain. Youth interpersonal violence is low, with 2 deaths per 100,000 young people in 2015. Twenty road fatalities per 100,000 youth means significantly fewer deaths than in other countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, where the rate is 48 per 100,000.
In health, the country has one of the lowest rates of youth-self harm fatalities, about 4 deaths per 100,000 youth, compared to an Index average of 16; Egypt is ranked 5th for this indicator. Adolescent fertility rates have witnessed a consistent decline from 148 births per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19 in 1960, to 51 per 1,000 in 2015.
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
A relatively low percentage (37 percent) of Egyptian youth surveyed say that they are satisfied with the educational system or school where they live. This is the lowest percentage observed in this indicator across all Index countries.
While 75 percent of youth polled say that their government does not care about their wants and needs, 59 percent of survey respondents say their standard of living will be better than that of their parents. This response rate places Egypt at 16th on this particular indicator.
Forty-nine percent of young Egyptians polled are concerned about violence, abuse, bullying or harassment in school or at work.
Seventy-eight percent of young Egyptians surveyed believe that women should have the same rights as men, ahead of several other nations in the Middle East and North Africa region.