Surveyed youth in Turkey report feeling the most stressed of young people in any Index country, but they remain very optimistic about their futures.
Turkey’s highest score is in the information and communication technology (ICT) domain, but overall the country ranks 20th for youth wellbeing. The lowest ranks are in citizen participation and gender equality.
Turkey is an increasingly connected society: 78 percent of individuals use the internet and 56 percent of young people report having a computer at home with internet access, figures on par with emerging markets like Saudi Arabia and China.
Turkey is 20th among Index countries for democracy as measured by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and only 5 percent of youth reported volunteering in the past month. The current minimum age of 30 to run for office drives down the citizen participation score.
Turkey fares relatively well on macroeconomic measures such as GDP per capita (10th, at US$11,522) and global competitiveness (17th), but faces several challenges around youth economic participation. At 18 percent, youth unemployment is high, as is the share of youth not in education, employment, or training (25 percent).
Early-stage entrepreneurial activity and youth borrowing from financial institutions are both on the rise, suggesting that more young people may be creating their own jobs. The addition of financial education to the national curriculum under the National Development Plan for 2014-2018 presents opportunities to enhance young people’s economic agency.
In the new gender equality domain, Turkey ranks 24th. The country’s low score for women's civil liberties, as measured by the OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), and somewhat high female youth marriage rate (10 percent) explain this rank.
The Global Millennial Viewpoints Survey
Eighty-nine percent of young Turkish respondents to the survey believe that women should have the same rights as men. At the same time, 48 percent of young women fear walking alone at night.
Although a majority of youth are pleased with their educational system (61 percent), this figure is well below the Index average of 71 percent, putting Turkey at 26th for this indicator.
A full 42 percent of young Turks feel that their government does not care about them, a figure that is second only to Saudi Arabia’s 41 percent, and far below the Index average of 68 percent.
Seventy-one percent of youth surveyed think that their standard of living will be better than that of their parents, a figure on par with growing middle income countries such as South Africa and Brazil.
Although recent terrorist attacks and border pressures have created stresses within the economic system, only 15 percent of survey respondents ranked violence at school or work among their top concerns. This figure is the third lowest of Index countries. However, Turkey has the highest level of youth stress among Index countries—72 percent of respondents indicated that their lives are too stressful.