On International Youth Day,The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) has issued a press release illustrating the serious economic and social challenges that young Palestinians face daily.
The unemployment rate among individuals for 15-29 years olds has risen to in 41.0% in 2017 (33.7% among males and 66.7% among females) compared with 30.5% in 2007 (29.4% Male and 35.6% female).
The significant increase stems from the huge rise in unemployment in the Gaza Strip for this age group, going from 39.8% in 2007 to 61.2% in 2017.Meanwhile, the rate in the West Bank increased from 25.6% in 27.2%
Furthermore, the unemployment rate of young graduates now exceeds 55%. This level of unemployment (37.8% for males and 72.0% for females) compares to 41.5% back in 2007 (31.7% for males and 52.5% for females).
Graduates of the educational sciences and teachers in 2017 scored the highest rate of unemployment, reaching 69.6% (47.5% for males and 76.2% for females), while graduates of the law specialization scored the lowest unemployment rate at 25.7% (25.5% for males and 26% for females)
The following are highlights of the report:
One-third of the Palestinian population is young, half of whom live in Area C near the apartheid wall and the settlements
The percentage of individuals (15-29 years) in Palestine increased from about 28.2% in 2007 to about 29.2% of the total population in 2017. This is equivalent to about 1.37 million people and a gender ratio of 104.5 males per 100 females in 2017.
At the regional level, the percentage of individuals (15-29 years) of 2017 in the West Bank is 29.0% compared to 29.5% in the Gaza Strip.
On the other hand, the data indicate that the proportion of individuals (15-29 years) in Palestine who live in areas “C” and close to the apartheid wall and settlements is 54.2%, which is equivalent to 743,160 individuals, distributed as 380,841 males and 362,319 females.
Education and Literacy
35.3% of individuals (15-29 years old) were enrolled in education in 2017 according to results from the Census of Population, Housing and Establishments.
This included 80.7% of individuals in the 15-17 age group, 42.4% in the 18-22 age group, and 7.1% for the 23-29 year age group.
The percentage of enrollment among young men was 31.1% compared to 39.7% for young women.
In 1997, enrollment had reached 28%, rising significantly in 2007 to 44.4%.
The rate of illiteracy among individuals (15-29 years) decreased from 1.1% (1.1% in the West Bank and 1.2% in the Gaza Strip) in 2007 to about 0.6% in Palestine according to the 2017 census data (0.6% in the West bank and and 0.7% in the Gaza Strip).
The percentage of participation in the labor force among 15-29 year olds was 41.1% in 2017 throughout Palestine. (63.0% among males and 18.9% among females)
This compares with 33.8% in 2007 (54.8% among males and 11.9% among females)
The percentage of labor participation among individuals in the 15-29 age group in the West Bank rose from 35.6% in 2007 to 41.1% in 2017, and in the Gaza Strip it increased from 30.8% to 42.0% during the same period.
The work of young females is concentrated in the services sector. In contrast, the trade, restaurants and hotels sector is the most attractive for male youth employment
The percentage of youth working in the services sector was 23.0% in 2017 (16.8% for males and 65.2% females)
28.4% of young people work in the trade, restaurants and hotels sector (30.6% for males and 13.2% for females), 19.6% (15.2% of males and 10.7% of working females). The percentage of workers in the agriculture sector was 7.5% (7.9% for males and 4.7% for females). (6.4% for females and 4.8% for females).
The percentage of youth working in the services sector was 23.0% in 2017 (16.8% for males and 65.2% females) compared with 28.4% in the trade, restaurants and hotels sector (30.6% for males and 13.2% for females), 19.6% in construction sector (22.2% for males and 1.4% for females).
15.1% of the employed youth work in industry (15.8% for males and 10.7% for females). The percentage of workers in the agriculture sector was 7.5% (7.9% for males and 4.7% for females), while the percentage of the employed youth in transportation, storage and communications sector reached 6.4% (6.7% for males and 4.8% for females).
Less than 1% of Palestinian youth work in decision-making positions
The data for 2017 showed that 0.7% of young people work in the profession of legislators and senior management personnel – 0.8% in the West Bank and 0.7% in the Gaza Strip.
The poverty rate according to monthly consumption patterns among individuals between the ages of 15 and 29 was 29.5% (13.5% in the West Bank and 56.0% in Gaza Strip).
The percentage of extreme poverty among this demographic was 17.1% in Palestine (6.1% in the West Bank and 35.4% in Gaza Strip).
24% of the individuals 15-29 year old in Palestineexpressed a desire to emigrate. Of these, 37% were from the Gaza Strip, with 15% from the West Bank.
It is also noticeable that youth males are more likely to think about migration than youth females (29% for males and 18% for youth females).
3 out of every 100 young people has a disability / difficulty, and nearly a third of young people with disabilities / difficulty, are not enrolled in education
According to the Census of Population, Housing and Establishment Census 2017, 40,542 individuals (15-29 years old) in Palestine have a disability. This 3.1% of the population consists of 18,300 in the West Bank and 22,242 in the Gaza Strip.
The percentage of people with disabilities / difficulty increased from 2.8% in 2007 (3.0% in the West Bank and 2.5% in the Gaza Strip). The percentage of disability / difficulty among young males was 4.2% compared with 2.1% among young females. Compared with 2007 data, the disability / difficulty ratio among young males was 3.4%, while the disability / difficulty ratio among the males was 3.4
The percentage of households headed by young people increased during the last 10 years. According to the Census of Population, Housing and Establishments 2017, the percentage of households headed by a young man (15-29 years) is 14.9% – 13.9% in the West Bank and 16.5% in the Gaza Strip. In 2007 this percentage was 9.2% in Palestine, with 9.9% in the West Bank and 8.1% in the Gaza Strip. These figures underline the reality of increasing social and economic challenges of young people.
There has been a significant reduction in the rate of early marriage among females. The results of the Census of Population, Housing and Establishments 2017 indicate that the proportion of women aged 20-24 years who married before the age of 18 reached 10.8, with 8.5% in the West Bank and 13.8% in the Gaza Strip. In 2007, this percentage was 18.1% in Palestine – 17.0% in the West Bank and 19.7% in the Gaza Strip. In 1997, this percentage had reached 30.5% in Palestine.