Nigeria dropped 20 places to 161st on the 2020 Global Youth Development Index which measures the status of young people in 181 countries around the world.
The 2020 Global Youth Development Index report was released on Tuesday by the Commonwealth Secretariat. As of the last time the report was released, Nigeria ranked 141st globally.
The triennial report indicated that 156 countries recording at least slight improvements in their scores and that the conditions of young people have improved around the world by 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2018, but progress remains slow.
Singapore ranked top for the first time, followed by Slovenia, Norway, Malta and Denmark. On the other hand, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Niger took the last five positions, respectively.
While the data used in the index pre-dates COVID-19, the report highlights the positive trajectory of youth development which the virus could reverse for the first time unless urgent action is taken to secure the pre-pandemic gains.
The index ranks countries between 0.00 (lowest) and 1.00 (highest) according to the developments in youth education, employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic participation. It looks at 27 indicators including literacy and voting to showcase the state of the world’s 1.8 billion people between the age of 15 and 29.
Overall, the index shows advances in youth’s participation in peace processes and their education, employment, inclusion, and health care since 2010.
Health made the largest gains of 4.39 percent driven by a 1.6 percent decline in global youth mortality rates and a 2 percent drop in each HIV, self-harm, alcohol abuse, and tobacco use. Sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest strides in improving the health of young people.
Levels of underemployed youth and those not in school, training, or work remained constant. Advances in inequality and inclusion are led by improved gender parity in literacy as well as fewer child marriage cases and pregnancies in girls under 20. Yet no progress occurred in women’s safety.
The global education score increased by 3 percent, with South Asia making the largest improvement of 16 percent followed by sub-Saharan Africa with 10 percent. Peace and security improved by 3.41 percent, resulting from fewer young people dying from direct violence. Somalia recorded the largest gains in the peace and security of young people, followed by Colombia, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, and Russia.
Youth participation in politics is the only domain to record a decline in most parts of the world, reporting a deterioration in 102 countries. However, sub-Saharan Africa recorded a 5 percent improvement in the average regional score.
Globally, Sweden leads on education, Luxembourg on equality and inclusion, Indonesia on political and civic participation while Singapore tops the employment, health, and peace and security domains.