A report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that one-fifth of the Palestinian society consists of youth, equivalent to 22% of the total population in Palestine as of mid-2023.
Published in observance of International Youth Day, which falls on this Saturday, the report highlighted that the number of young people in Palestine, aged between 18 and 29 years, reaches a total of 1.19 million young men and women.
The report indicated that their distribution is 22% in the West Bank and 21% in the Gaza Strip, making up these proportions of the overall population. The gender ratio among the youth stands at approximately 104 young males for every 100 young females.
The United Nations General Assembly, through Resolution 54/120 of 1999, declared August 12 as International Youth Day, recognizing them as essential partners in driving change. The day aims to raise awareness about the challenges and issues young people face across the globe.
The United Nations defines youth as individuals within the age range of 15 to 24 years, allowing countries to specify the youth category based on their unique circumstances and needs. Accordingly, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics adopted the age group of 18 to 29 years to represent the Palestinian youth.
In the context of education, the statistical data showed higher percentages of youth with higher education degrees, coupled with high unemployment rates. The data from 2022 indicated that among every 100 young individuals aged 18 to 29, 18 have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.
It was noted that young women are more successful in education, as 23 out of every 100 young females have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 13 out of 100 young males.
Conversely, unemployment rates pose a significant challenge for the youth. These rates stood at 59% among females and 32% among males, with the highest rates in Gaza compared to the West Bank at 75% and 30%, respectively.
The report highlighted that the highest unemployment rates among youth aged 18 to 29 were observed among graduates holding medium to high-level diplomas, with a clear gender difference. Unemployment rates were 48% for males and 61% for females.
According to the central statistics agency, the number of young individuals (18-29 years) employed in the informal sector in Palestine was 148,700 in 2022, with 135,500 males and 13,200 females.
The percentage of young people working in the informal sector accounted for approximately 43% of the total young workforce in Palestine.
The report also revealed that around half of the youth are not in the labor force or engaged in education/training. In 2022, 47% of young individuals (18-29 years) were outside the labor market and education/training sphere, either not employed or not enrolled in education/training programs.