Malta ranked fifth in the Com­mon­wealth on the Global Youth De­vel­op­ment In­dex

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Malta has ranked 20th in the world in the 2016 Global Youth De­vel­op­ment In­dex (YDI), and fifth in the Com­mon­wealth.

The YDI is a com­pos­ite in­dex of 18 in­di­ca­tors that col­lec­tively mea­sure progress on youth de­vel­op­ment in 183 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 49 of the 53 Com­mon­wealth coun­tries. It has five do­mains, mea­sur­ing lev­els of ed­u­ca­tion, health and well­be­ing, em­ploy­ment and op­por­tu­nity, po­lit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion and civic par­tic­i­pa­tion among young peo­ple. The YDI is guided by the Com­mon­wealth def­i­ni­tion of youth as peo­ple be­tween the ages of 15 and 29, while recog­nis­ing that some coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions de­fine youth dif­fer­ently. The YDI score is a num­ber be­tween 0 and 1. For a coun­try to re­ceive a per­fect score of 1, it would rep­re­sent the high­est pos­si­ble level of youth de­vel­op­ment at­tain­able, with 0 re­flect­ing lit­tle to no youth de­vel­op­ment.

The Com­mon­wealth is home to one-third of the global youth pop­u­la­tion. Over the past five years, youth de­vel­op­ment in the Com­mon­wealth has regis­tered larger gains than the global av­er­age. Col­lec­tively, there was a five per cent in­crease in the av­er­age YDI score of Com­mon­wealth coun­tries be­tween 2010 and 2015.

The ma­jor­ity of coun­tries ranked in the top 20 glob­ally are in Europe, with Ger­many in the lead, closely fol­lowed by Den­mark and Aus­tralia. The coun­try with the low­est global YDI score is the Cen­tral African Repub­lic.

Malta ranks 12th in the Health and Well­be­ing cat­e­gory, 41st in the Ed­u­ca­tion cat­e­gory and 22nd in the Em­ploy­ment and Op­por­tu­nity sec­tion. Malta also ranked 18th in Civic Par­tic­i­pa­tion, but ranked 93rd in Po­lit­i­cal Par­tic­i­pa­tion. Malta’s over­all score for 2016 was 0.794.

Young peo­ple are ‘bub­bly’

Prime Min­is­ter of Malta and Chairin-Of­fice of the Com­mon­wealth Joseph Mus­cat wrote in the For­ward sec­tion of the re­port. “Young peo­ple see what is around them in a fresh light and itch to im­prove what is their in­her­i­tance – they are bub­bly and full of in­spir­ing ideas, and they have a strong voice and the abil­ity to make a huge dif­fer­ence world­wide. It is there­fore im­por­tant that young peo­ple are em­pow­ered and given the op­por­tu­nity to reach their full po­ten­tial. Such a goal can only be achieved through in­vest­ing in their skills, har­ness­ing their en­ergy, en­cour­ag­ing their am­bi­tions, and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion in their lo­cal – and by de­fault of­ten the global – econ­omy.

“Youth de­vel­op­ment can be achieved even in low in­come coun­tries by pro­vid­ing qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing and al­low­ing young peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the na­tion’s po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial life,” Prime Min­is­ter Mus­cat said. He ex­plained that health and well-be­ing are also fac­tors that weigh heav­ily in youth de­vel­op­ment, “and world lead­ers need to fo­cus more on pro­mot­ing men­tal and sex­ual health, as well as ed­u­ca­tion and nu­tri­tion. Be­sides en­cour­ag­ing a healthy life­style, sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties also pro­mote team­work, re­spon­si­bil­ity and in­ter­cul­tural learn­ing – all pro­vid­ing sound bases for young peo­ple’s roles in the fu­ture”.

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