Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
On the occasion of the International Youth Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) issues a press release highlighting the situation of the youth in the Palestinian society
Palestinian youth between the hammer of the occupation and the anvil of the difficult economic conditions
The Palestinian youth are the most vulnerable to Israeli attacks and violations
The continuous violations practiced by the Israeli occupation and Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people in all Palestinian Governorates, in addition to the fact that Al-Aqsa Mosque is violated by Israeli settlers under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces on a daily basis. Also, the Israeli occupation forces regularly attack, harass and arrest Palestinian citizens as well as confiscate their lands. Most recently, the Israeli attack on Gaza Strip, where the Israeli occupation committed an unmerciful aggression against Gaza Strip Friday's afternoon on August 5th, 2022. The victims of such horrific aggression, up until this day, reached 47 martyrs, 34% of them aged 18-29 years. It's worth mentioning that the number of youth martyrs in the Gaza Strip in the year 2021 reached 82, representing 32% of the total number of martyrs in Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip at that time. In the West Bank, there are 43 youth martyrs aged 18-29 years since the beginning of 2022 and until this date, constituting 56% of the total martyrs in the West Bank. It is also noteworthy that the number of youth martyrs in the West Bank in 2021 amounted to 41, constituting 43% of the total number of martyrs in the West Bank. (Human Rights & Democracy Media Center “SHAMS").
High rates of the youth with higher education degrees and high unemployment rates
Education is the real investment for Palestinians; given its importance on the individual and social levels. Hence, data for 2021 indicate that out of every 100 youth males and females aged 18-29 years, there are 18 youth who obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher. Perhaps youth females are the most fortunate, as 23 out of every 100 youth females obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 13 youth males. On the other hand, unemployment rates constitute the biggest challenge for the youth, as these rates reached 62% among females and 33% among males, and were the highest in Gaza Strip compared to the West Bank (65% and 24%, respectively). Also, the highest rates of unemployment among the youth aged 18-29 years were recorded among graduates, including those holding an intermediate diploma or higher (53%) with a clear difference between youth males and females, 39% for males and 66% for females.
About 155 thousand youth are employed in the informal sector
The number of the employed youth in the informal sector in 2021 reached 155,000 employed persons, of whom 145,200 were males compared to 9,800 females. The percentage of the employed youth in this sector represents 29% of the total employed youth in Palestine. Knowingly, the percentage of the employed youth in the informal employment in Palestine (meaning the employed youth in the informal sector in addition to wage employees who do not obtain any labour rights including end-of-service/retirement or annual paid leave or paid sick leave) has reached 46% of the total employed youth; of whom 53% are males and 17% are females (56% in the West Bank and 29% in Gaza Strip).
Half of the youth (18- 29 years) are not engaged in employment or education/training
The percentage of the youth (18-29 years) who are not engaged in employment or education/training in 2021 was 50% (41% in the West Bank compared with 64% in Gaza strip); 66% for females and 34% for males.
A youth society
The percentage of the youth (18-29 years) in Palestine was about 22% (1.17 million) of the total population in mid - 2022 (22.2% in the West Bank and 21.5% in Gaza Strip). Whilst the sex ratio was 105 males per 100 females.
One out of ten households is headed by a youth
Data for 2022 indicates that 7% of households are headed by a youth in Palestine, 13% for male and 0.2% for females. This percentage was equal at the region level at 7% for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Disappearance of illiteracy among the youth
The illiteracy rate among the youth (18-29 years) in Palestine for 2021 decreased to about 0.7% (0.8% in the West Bank and 0.6% in Gaza Strip), while it was 1.1% in 2007 (1.1% in the West Bank and 1.2% in Gaza Strip).
A decrease in the percentage of early marriage
The percentage of youth females (20-24 years) who got married before reaching the age of 18 decreased to about 13 youth females per 100 females in 2020 (12% in the West Bank and about 17% in Gaza Strip), compared to 37 females per 100 females in 2010.
About one third of the youth are smokers
The percentage of the youth (18-29 years old) who smoke in 2021 reached about 31% (43% in the West Bank and 13% in Gaza Strip), while the percentage of youth males who smoke was about 54% compared to 7% among females.
The majority of the youth use the internet and own smartphone
During the first quarter of 2022, around 95% of the youth (18-29 years) use the internet from anywhere (97% in the West Bank and 91% in Gaza Strip), with no significant differences between males and females. In addition, 89% of the youth, own a smartphone (96% in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza Strip); 88% for males and 90% for females.
Low level of life satisfaction among the youth in Gaza Strip
Data in 2021 indicated that the level of life satisfaction among the youth aged (18-29 years) reached about 63%, with clear differences at the level of the region, as it reached 72% in the West Bank compared to only 46% in Gaza Strip. Regarding the youth satisfaction with their health, results indicated that the level of satisfaction reached about 77%, where this percentage was equal at the level of the region (77% for each of the West Bank and Gaza Strip).
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly announced August 12th of each year to be the International Youth Day, as the youth are key partners in making change, and in order to raise awareness on the challenges and problems facing the youth around the world.
The youth are the most vital and productive segment in the society. Thus, they are expected to have an important and key role in the recovery from all crises and challenges, of which the most recent COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, the UN announced that this year's anniversary is intended to highlight the participation of the youth and motivate them to work and engage in the local, regional and global movements under the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, in addition to concluding morals and lessons learned in order to promote their representation and participation in the different social, economic and political issues.
The United Nations defines the youth as the individuals in the age group (15-24 years) with the possibility of adjusting this category according to the specificity and need of each country. In this press release, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) considered the youth in Palestine as the individuals in the age group (18-29 years).