Jordanian youth are relatively safe and secure, but they are not engaged economically.
Jordan sits at the median within the Index for overall youth wellbeing. The country scores well in safety and security and health; in the mid-range for education, ICT and gender equality; and towards the bottom for citizen participation and economic opportunity.
For safety and security, Jordan has the highest rank of Middle Eastern and North African countries included in the Index. In particular, the rate of interpersonal violence, at 9 deaths per 100,000, is less than half the Index average.
Jordan’s strong health ranking is lifted by the high percentage of youth surveyed who feel they are in near-perfect health (87 percent) and a declining adolescent fertility rate (23 per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19). Jordanian youth use tobacco products at the third highest rate in the Index (38 percent) and have the second highest level of stress (67 percent).
Jordan has high rates of youth literacy (99 percent) and moderate rates of both secondary enrollment (84 percent) and lower secondary completion (87 percent). Public spending on education is 14 percent of total government expenditures, one point below the Index average.
Young people could be significantly more engaged in the economy: 29 percent of youth are unemployed, 25 percent are not in education, employment, or training (NEET), and only 8 percent are involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity.
In the citizen participation domain, Jordan ranks 25th. Three factors explain this position: the high minimum age for elected office (30 years old), a low rate of youth volunteering (10 percent), and a low score on the democracy indicator as measured by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.
Examining gender equality in Jordan illustrates achievements and opportunities for improvement. For example, the female youth marriage rate declined substantially in recent years (7 percent in 2012). However, Jordan receives a low score for women's civil liberties.
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
Jordanian youth perceptions of their health are very positive. An astounding 87 percent of Jordanian youth surveyed think that their health is near perfect, a proportion matched only by China. However, 67 percent of youth polled agreed with the statement "my life is too stressful,” a figure surpassed only by Turkey (72 percent).
More than half of Jordanian youth surveyed believe that the government has their best interests in mind, with 44 percent disagreeing with the statement "my government does not care about my wants and needs.” Additionally, support for gender equality is strong: 73 percent of young Jordanians polled believe that women should have the same rights as men.
About half of young people surveyed in Jordan (49 percent) think that their standard of living will be better than their parents; this is 10 percentage points below the Index average.