Statistics Explained

Migrant integration statistics - socioeconomic situation of young people

Data extracted in October 2022.

Planned article update: October 2023.

Highlights

The proportions of foreign-born and of non-nationals in the young population in the EU were respectively 12.8% and 10.7% in 2021 and followed an upward trend between 2013 and 2021.

In 2021, highest integration gaps in the fields of employment, education and social inclusion were recorded for young non-EU citizens.

In 2021, young non-EU citizens were early leavers from education and training 3 times more often than nationals.

F2 Selected indicators of youth integration in the EU by citizenship, 2021 (%) n.png


Migration has been an important factor determining the population dynamics in Member States of the European Union (EU), whether migrants coming from elsewhere within the EU or from elsewhere in the world. The flow of migrants has led to a range of skills and talents being introduced into local economies, while also increasing cultural diversity.

In the context of the European Year of Youth 2022, this article sheds light on the integration of young foreign-born and young non-nationals through the analysis of socio-economic indicators in the areas of demography, employment, education and social inclusion. Integration of those two groups of youngsters is of utmost importance since they are representing an increasing proportion of the young people residing in the EU, in particular within the context of an ageing EU population. Integration of young foreign-born and young non-nationals in the EU is assessed by comparing selected Zaragoza indicators[1] for young native-born and nationals. The last part of this article shows the main trends and features in terms of integration of young foreign-born and non-nationals over the past ten years.

The main age group covered by this article is the 15-29 years age group, which is considered as a reference in the European Year of Youth 2022 context. However, analysed age groups can vary depending on the specificity of the indicator, for example, the indicator on early leavers from education and training where the standard 18-24 years age group is applied.

Full article

Demographic trends

Traditionally, two groups of population are used in official statistics for analysing migrant integration: non-nationals (i.e., people without the citizenship of their country of residence) and foreign-born (people born outside their country of residence).

Figure 1 shows the development of the proportion of non-nationals and foreign-born aged 15-29 years in the resident population for the age group in the EU between 2013 and 2021. For both non-nationals and foreign-born, the share of young people followed an upward trend, with an increase over the whole period of 2.6 percentage points for young non-nationals and 2.5 percentage points (p.p.) for young foreign-born people. At the beginning of 2021, young non-nationals accounted for 10.7 % of the population aged 15 to 29 years in the EU whereas young foreign-born people represented 12.8 %.

Figure 1: Development of shares of young foreign-born people and young non-nationals in the total EU population aged 15 to 29 years, 2013-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop1ctz) and (migr_pop3ctb)

When looking at Tables 1 and 2, the share of young non-nationals and young foreign-born people in 2021 varied greatly from one EU Member State to another, it ranged between 1.0 % (in Slovakia) and 41.1 % (in Luxembourg) for non-nationals and between 1.9 % (also in Slovakia) and 42.6 % (also in Luxembourg) for foreign-born people.

The share of young non-nationals was more than 50 % higher than the EU average in five Member States (Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Austria and Germany) whereas it was less than half of the EU average in eight Member States (Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary and Latvia). Moreover, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Slovakia and Cyprus were the EU Member States where young non-nationals were mainly citizens of another EU Member State. This means that in most EU Member States, the majority of young non-nationals were citizens of non-EU countries.

Concerning young foreign-born people, the proportion was higher than 50 % of the EU average in six Member States (Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Sweden, Austria and Spain) and less than half of the EU average also in six Member States (Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania). Only in Luxembourg and Slovakia was the majority of foreign-born born in another EU Member State.

Table 1: Non-national population aged 15 to 29 years by group of citizenship, 1 January 2021
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop1ctz)


Table 2: Foreign-born population aged 15 to 29 years by country of birth, 1 January 2021
Source: Eurostat (migr_pop3ctb)

Over the 2013-2021 period, the share of young non-nationals increased in 21 EU Member States while the share of young foreign-born people increased in 22 Member States. The growth in the share of young non-nationals could be seen in Malta (+20.9 p.p.), Germany (+6.9 p.p.), Slovenia (+6.3 p.p.) and Austria (+6.2 p.p.). Concerning the share of young foreign-born people, Malta (+20.1 p.p.) also recorded the highest growth in p.p. followed by Slovenia (+5.8 p.p.), Germany (+5.5 p.p.), Cyprus (5.4 p.p.) and Sweden (+5.2 p.p.).

Based upon both the proportion of young non-nationals and young foreign-born in the EU population and the recently observed upward trend, assessing their integration in the EU appears to be of particular importance.

Selected indicators of youth integration

The following parts of this article present information on the current and recent development of the socioeconomic status of young people in the EU with an analysis according to their citizenship (EU citizens, non-EU citizens and nationals). The indicators presented in this section are based on Zaragoza indicators in the areas of employment, education and social inclusion. Six indicators, derived from the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) and EU-Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) are analysed in the context of this article:

  • the unemployment rate of young people;
  • the employment rate of young people;
  • the rate of early leavers from education and training;
  • the share of young people with a tertiary level of education (ISCED level 5-8);
  • the share of young people neither in employment nor in education and training;
  • the share of young people at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Unemployment and employment rates provide information on possible labour market disadvantages for some young non-nationals. The unemployment rate only concerns those young people aged 15 to 29 years who are already in the labour market, excluding those who are still attending school or higher education. The employment rate gives the share of the population aged 25 to 29 years who are working.

Education has the potential to increase employment opportunities and social inclusion for individuals through the acquisition of basic skills and common values shared within society. Early leavers from education and training are defined as people aged 18-24 years having attained, at most, lower secondary education and not involved in further education or training. This indicator provides an insight on the share of young non-nationals who start their professional life with a low educational background. Conversely, the share of those aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary level indicates the proportion of young non-nationals with a high educational background.

The indicator of young people not in employment, education or training corresponds to the proportion of the population aged 15-29 years who were not employed and not involved in further education or training and thus shows the share of young non-nationals that are not included in society through either employment or education. It should be noted that this indicator differs from the unemployment rate since not all the young people covered by this indicator are recorded as unemployed. Lastly, the indicator concerning at risk of poverty or social exclusion is a composite measure with three subcomponents: the at-risk-of-poverty, severe material and social deprivation, and households with very low work intensity. The at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate measures the number of people who are in at least one of the three situations as a proportion of the young non-national population aged 16 to 29 years.

In Figure 2, the values of these six indicators are presented for the three main groups of citizenships considered in this article: EU citizens excluding nationals, non-EU citizens and nationals. Nationals are defined as the people having the citizenship of the country in which they reside. Data related to the at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate is not available for EU citizens. For four of the chosen indicators (unemployment rate, early leavers from education and training, young people neither in employment nor in training and young people at risk of poverty or social exclusion) the higher the value of the indicator, the lower the integration of the considered population group. On the contrary, for the employment rate and tertiary education attainment, the higher the value of the indicator, the higher the level of integration. All six indicators in Figure 2 show the same pattern: young non-EU citizens are less integrated than young EU citizens who are themselves less integrated than young nationals.

Figure 2: Indicators on youth integration in the EU by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_ergan) and (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_23) and (edat_lfs_9911) and (ilc_peps05n)

In order to see the indicators for which the integration gap is greatest, values for EU citizens, non-EU citizens have been normalised by dividing them with the values recorded for nationals. For the employment rate and education attainment, the ratio has been inverted in order to interpret the obtained value in the same way as the four other indicators. Results are presented in Figure 3, where values of the ratio for nationals are equal by construction to 1.

In 2021, young non-EU citizens were early leavers from education and training 3 times more often than nationals, which represented the main integration gap. For social inclusion indicators, non-EU citizens were more than twice (2.3) exposed to a risk of poverty or social exclusion than nationals and twice more exposed to a risk of being neither in employment nor in education and training. The unemployment rate of non-EU citizens was 1.6 time higher than that of nationals, whereas the lowest integration gaps (1.3) were observed for employment rate and tertiary education level attainment.

For young EU citizens excluding nationals, integration gaps observed in 2021 were lower than non-EU citizens for all six indicators. Tertiary education level attainment, employment and unemployment rates of EU citizens residing abroad were almost the same as for nationals, whereas they had a risk 1.3 times higher than nationals of being neither in employment nor in education and training. The main observable integration gap for EU citizens excluding nationals was recorded for early leavers of education and training, whereas data on being at risk of poverty or social exclusion was not available for EU citizens residing abroad.

Figure 3: Ratio between nationals’ and non-nationals' indicators on youth integration, EU, 2021
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_ergan) and (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_23) and (edat_lfs_9911) and (ilc_peps05n)

Figure 4 presents the same ratios of integration between young males and females by main groups of citizenship. For each indicator, the level for young males is compared with the one of females. A ratio lower than one indicates that, for the considered indicator, young females are suffering from an integration gap.

In 2021, the gender gap was favorable to young females for all groups of citizenship only in the field of education. For all other available indicators, the gender gap was favorable to young males, except for unemployment rate of young national females with a ratio slightly higher than 1. Comparing the gender gap by group of citizenship, young non-EU citizen females had a more favorable ratio than young EU citizen and national females only for early leavers from education and training, whereas it was for young female EU citizens only the case for tertiary education level attainment. It thus indicates that, excepting those two cases, the gender gap is increasing the integration gap for young non-EU and EU citizen females in comparison with young national females.

Figure 4: Ratio between male and female youth integration indicators by citizenship, EU, 2021
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_ergan) and (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_23) and (edat_lfs_9911) and (ilc_peps05n)

Figure 5 contrasts the integration of young people by country of birth and of young people by country of citizenship. A ratio lower than one indicates that young people who do not have the citizenship of their country of residence are suffering more from an integration gap in comparison with young foreign-born people. Since data is not available for the indicator at risk of poverty or social exclusion, only five indicators are included in Figure 5.

For all the recorded indicators in 2021, young third-country nationals were suffering from an integration gap higher in comparison with young people born outside the EU. The difference between young EU citizens living abroad and young EU-born (except in their country of residence) is less pronounced with, for example, a higher employment rate or a lower risk to be neither in employment nor in education and training. It should be also noticed that the unemployment rate is the indicator for which non-nationals (both EU and non-EU citizens) were the most disadvantaged. Therefore, it tends to implicitly indicate that acquisition of citizenship of the country of residence may be a factor for integration.

Figure 5: Ratio between youth integration indicators by place of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2021
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_ergan) and (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_23) and (edat_lfs_9911)


Education

Education has the potential to increase employment opportunities and social inclusion for individuals, through the acquisition of basic skills and common values shared within society.

Early leavers from education and training

Early leavers from education and training are defined as people aged 18-24 years having attained at most lower secondary education and not involved in further education or training.

Figure 6 shows that in 2021 the proportion of young foreign-born people (both EU-born and non-EU-born) in this situation was much higher than young native-born people both for the EU as a whole as well as for all the EU Member States. For the EU, in 2021 less than one tenth (8.5 %) of young native-born people were early leavers, while for young foreign-born the share was more than twice as high (21.4 % for EU-born and 21.6 % for non-EU-born). Among the EU Member States for which the data was available, the largest differences over of 20 p.p. between early leavers’ shares for native-born and non-EU-born were recorded in three EU Member States (Cyprus, Greece and Italy). Germany, Austria, Malta, Spain and Sweden also reported differences of 10.0 p.p. or more. Turning to the comparison between young native-born early leavers with their counterparts born in another EU Member State, the largest differences over 10.0 p.p. were observed in six EU Member States (Germany, Spain, Cyprus, Austria, Czechia and Italy).

Figure 6: Early leavers from education and training among persons aged 18-24 years by country of birth, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfse_02)

Figure 7 shows for the EU as a whole the development from 2012 to 2021 of the proportion of early leavers from education and training who were employed by country of birth and by citizenship. Either by country of birth or by citizenship, the proportion decreased between 2012 and 2021 for native-born and non-EU-born young people as well as for young nationals and young non-EU citizens, whereas it increased for their counterparts having the citizenship of another EU Member State (up 1.5 p.p.) or those born in another EU Member State (0.4 p.p.).

The development pattern was somewhat irregular for the proportion of employed early leavers born in other EU Member States, initially falling at a relatively fast pace up until 2014, after which there was an increase in 2015 and again a decrease in 2016; in 2017 and 2018 there were two successive increases before other falls observed in 2019 and 2020. The recent development in 2021 shows the share decreasing. A rather similar pattern was observed for employed early leavers having the citizenship of another EU Member State.

Figure 7: Early leavers from education and training — employed persons aged 18-24 years by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_02)

The proportion of early leavers from education and training who were not employed (therefore either unemployed or economically inactive) followed a different development to that observed among early leavers who were employed (compare the developments in Figures 7 and 8).

Between 2012 and 2021 the share of not employed early leavers among young people born outside the EU recorded a decrease of 6.6 p.p., while the decrease observed for young non-EU citizens accounted for 6.4 p.p.. The share of not employed early leavers among young persons born in other EU Member States and young EU citizens reached a peak in 2013 and then it started falling till 2019. In 2020, the shares of all young populations increased. In 2021 both populations of young non-nationals and young foreign-born early leavers who were not employed decreased, while the shares of not employed early leavers among young nationals and among native-born did not change.

Figure 8: Early leavers from education and training — not employed persons aged 18-24 years by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfse_01) and (edat_lfse_02)

When looking at the total proportion of early leavers (employed and not employed), the integration gap observed for non-EU citizens in comparison with nationals decreased by 5.2 p.p. from 2012 to 2021 whereas this integration gap slightly increased for EU citizens (+1.1 percentage point).

Young people aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary education level

Figure 9 shows that the shares of EU-born and non-EU-born young people aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary education level were always lower than their native-born counterparts. The same pattern can be observed when looking at the alternative analysis by citizenship. Between 2012 and 2021 the share of young people aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary education level grew considerably regardless of the analysed population group. The largest increase of 11.4 p.p. was observed for young people born in another EU Member State – from 29.3 % in 2012 to 40.7 % in 2021.

Figure 9: Share of young people aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary education level (ISCED 5-8) by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfs_9911) and (edat_lfs_9912)

Among the 20 EU Member States, for which data are available, in Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Finland and Greece, the proportions of highly educated young EU-born persons were 10 or more p.p. lower than the proportions of young native-born persons. In contrast, in five EU Member States, the proportion of tertiary educated young persons born in another EU Member States was at least 10 p.p. higher than young native-born (Czechia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Croatia and Denmark).

Turning to the comparison between young native-born and young non-EU-born persons (for which the data for 24 EU Member States were available), the proportions of highly educated young non-EU-born persons were 10 or more p.p. lower than the proportions of young native-born persons in eight EU Member States, with the largest gap of 32.5 p.p. observed in Cyprus. In contrary, the share of tertiary educated young non-EU-born persons was at least 10 p.p. higher in seven EU Member States, with the largest difference of 25.1 p.p. observed in Estonia.

Figure 10: Share of young people aged 25 to 34 years with a tertiary education level (ISCED 5-8) by country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfs_9912)

Employment and unemployment

Youth employment rate

Figure 11 shows that the employment rate at the EU level of young non-EU-born people was always lower than that of young native-born whereas the employment rate of young EU-born (outside the reporting country) was always higher than the young native-born people. For all groups of countries of birth, the curves were developing in a similar way and were following an upward trend. The negative impact in 2020 of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic can also be pointed out. The gap between employment rate of young non-EU-born and native-born decreased by 5.4 p.p. between 2012 and 2021 with an employment rate of young native-born being only 0.7 p.p. higher than the one of non-EU-born in 2021. Simultaneously, the gap between non-EU-born and EU-born diminished by 3.9 p.p. and was still equal to 7.5 p.p. in 2021. Concerning the positive gap between EU-born and native-born, it widened between 2012 and 2021 by a difference of 6.8 p.p. in 2021 compared with 5.3 p.p. in 2012.

Figure 11: Employment rate of young people aged 15 to 29 years by country of birth, EU, 2012- 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_020)

Across the EU Member States in 2021 (Figure 12), the employment rate for non-EU-born was lower than the one for EU-born in all the Member States except in France, Italy and Greece. It can also be noticed that the employment rate of EU-born was lower than the one of native-born in Member States with either a high employment rate of native-born (the Netherlands, Malta and Austria) or in France and Greece. Lastly, the employment rate of non-EU-born was higher than the one of native-born in 14 EU Member States (Czechia, Cyprus, Ireland, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece).

Figure 12: Employment rate of young people (aged 15-29 years) by country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_020)

Considering five-year age groups among the 15-29 years (Figure 13), in 2021 people across the EU aged 25-29 years had the highest employment rates among all young people, regardless of their place of birth or their citizenship, whereas people aged 20-24 years had higher employment rates than people aged 15-19, still regardless of their place of birth. This pattern reflects the progressive entrance of youngsters into the labour market after finishing their studies. For all the three considered age groups, the employment rate of non-EU-born was lower than the one of native-born and EU-born with the gap increasing with the age group. The same pattern is observed for non-EU citizens in comparison with nationals and EU citizens, but recorded employment rates for non-EU citizens as always lower than the non-EU-born. EU-born and EU citizens had in 2021 a higher employment rate than native-born and nationals only for the age group 20-24 years.

Figure 13: Employment rate of young people (aged 15-29 years) by age groups and by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_020) and (lfsa_ergan)

Unemployment rate among young people

Labour market disadvantages for non-EU-born and non-EU citizens young people can also be visible when unemployment rates are analysed.

Figure 14 shows for the EU as a whole the development from 2012 to 2021 of unemployment rate by country of birth and by citizenship. Either by country of birth or by citizenship, the unemployment rate of young non-EU-born and non-EU citizens was always higher than young native-born and nationals as well as EU-born and EU citizens.

For all the considered groups of countries of birth and of citizenship, the curves were developing in a similar way and were following a downward trend. The impact in 2020 of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic can also be noticed. The gap between the employment rate of young non-EU-born and native-born decreased by 5.8 p.p. between 2012 and 2021, while the gap between the employment rate of young non-EU citizens and nationals dropped by 4.0 p.p.. As a result, the unemployment rate for non-EU citizens was higher or equal than that of non-EU-born from 2017 onwards. Lastly, the gap either between native-born and EU-born or between nationals and EU citizens progressively disappeared between 2012 and 2021.

Figure 14: Unemployment rate of young people aged 15 to 29 years by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_100) and (lfsa_urgan)

Figure 15 compares unemployment rates for five-year age groups among the 15-29 years by country of birth and by citizenship in 2021. People across the EU aged 15-19 years had the highest unemployment rates among all young people, regardless of their place of birth or their citizenship, whereas people aged 20-24 years had higher unemployment rates than people aged 25-29, still regardless of their place of birth. For all the three considered age groups, the unemployment rate of non-EU-born is higher than the one of native-born and EU-born with the gap decreasing with the age group. The same pattern is observed for non-EU citizens in comparison with nationals and EU citizens, but recorded unemployment rates for non-EU citizens were always slightly higher than the non-EU-born. EU-born and EU citizens had in 2021 a higher unemployment rate than native-born and nationals for all the age groups, especially the 15-19 years age group.

Figure 15: Unemployment rate of young people (aged 15-29 years) by age groups and by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_100) and (lfsa_urgan)

Across the EU Member States in 2021 (Figure 16), the unemployment rate for non-EU-born is higher than that of native-born in all the Member States except in Greece and Czechia, and higher than EU-born in all the Member States except in Greece, France, Italy and Denmark. It can also be noticed that a lower unemployment rate of EU-born in comparison with native-born is recorded in Cyprus, Sweden, Luxembourg and Czechia.

Figure 16: Unemployment rate of young people (aged 15-29 years) by country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_100)

Temporary employment of young people

Temporary employment can be considered either as an opportunity for labour market participation (in particular internships during studies) or as a trap into underemployment.

Figure 17 presents the development from 2012 to 2021 of the shares of young employees in temporary employment by country of birth in the EU for two age groups: 15-24 years and 25-34 years. The pattern greatly varies in function of the considered age group. For the age group 15-24 years, the share of non-EU-born employees in temporary employment was always lower than the ones for EU-born and native-born, while for the age group 25-34 years, it is the contrary. This finding tends to indicate that during the period of schooling (15-24 years), non-EU-born are benefiting less from the possibility of temporary employment whereas during the beginning of their working life (25-34 years), non-EU-born are suffering more from the precarity of temporary employment. Concerning the trends observed in Figure 17, only an upward trend for the share of EU-born employees being temporarily employed aged 15-24 years is noticeable from 2012 to 2021.

Figure 17: Share of young employees in temporary employment by country of birth and by age groups, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_etpgacob)

Figure 18 shows the share of young employees (aged 25-34 years) in temporary employment by country of birth in the EU and EFTA countries in 2021. Except in Croatia, Italy and Ireland, the share of non-EU-born employees aged 25-34 years in temporary employment was higher than the one of native-born, whereas the share of non-EU-born employees in temporary employment was higher than the one of EU-born in all the countries except Finland, Denmark, Austria and Czechia. Lastly, one can point out the lower share of EU-born employees in temporary employment in comparison with native-born in three Member States (Spain, Portugal and Italy) where the share of native-born aged 25-34 years in temporary employment is amongst the highest in the EU.

Figure 18: Share of young employees (aged 25-34 years) in temporary employment by country of birth, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_etpgacob)

Part-time employment of young people

Similar to temporary employment, part-time employment can be considered either as an opportunity for labour market participation or as a trap into underemployment.

When looking at Figure 19, the share of young non-EU-born employees in part-time employment was higher than the ones of EU-born and native-born all over the analysed period (2012-2021), while the share of young EU-born was higher than the one of native-born. The development for young non-EU-born and at a lesser extent for EU-born followed a downward trend, whereas the share of young native-born in temporary employment slightly increased between 2012 and 2021. As a result, the gap between non-EU-born and native-born decreased by 4.8 p.p. between 2012 and 2021 while the gap between EU-born and native-born diminished by 2.2 p.p..

Figure 19: Part-time employment as percentage of the total employment for young people (aged 15-29 years) by country of birth, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_060)

Figure 20 shows the share of young employees (aged 15-29 years) in part-time employment by country of birth in 2021. In seven Member States (the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, Slovenia, France and Cyprus), the share of non-EU-born employees aged 15-29 years in part-time employment was lower than the one for native-born, whereas the share of non-EU-born employees in part-time employment was lower than the one for EU-born in five Member States (Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Italy and France). Lastly, one can point out the lower share of EU-born employees in part-time employment in comparison with native-born in ten Member States.

Figure 20: Part-time employment as percentage of the total employment for young people (aged 15-29 years) by country of birth, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (yth_empl_060)

Social inclusion

Young people not in employment, education or training

The indicator of young people not in employment, education or training corresponds to the proportion of the population aged 15-29 years who were not employed and not involved in further education or training.

The various groups shown in Figure 21 all recorded decreases in the proportion of young people who were not in employment, education or training between 2012 and 2021. The decline was strongest for young people born in other EU Member States, down from a peak of 24.5 % in 2012 to 16.4 % in 2021. For young native-born people the decrease was equal to 2.8 p.p., whereas for young non-EU-born the proportion was 6.6 p.p. lower at the end of the period. The impact in 2020 of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic can also be noticed. In 2020, the shares for all subpopulations increased to fall again in 2021. A similar pattern was observed for young non-EU citizens who were not in employment, education or training, but their proportion was constantly higher than the one of non-EU-born.

Figure 21: Young people (aged 15-29 years) not in employment, education or training by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2012-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfse_23) and (edat_lfse_28)

In 2021, in all the 15 EU Member States for which data were available, a higher proportion of young people who were not in employment, education or training was recorded for EU-born in comparison with native-born. The largest differences (over 10 p.p.) between these two subpopulations were observed in Greece and Italy. Turning to the comparison between native-born with non-EU-born young people who were not in employment, education or training, the integration gaps were more pronounced. The differences in shares of over 10 p.p. were observed in nine EU Member States.

In 2021, there was no EU Member State where the share of young EU-born or non-EU-born not in employment, education or training was lower than the one for native-born.

Figure 22: Young people (aged 15-29 years) not in employment, education or training by country of birth, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (edat_lfse_28)

At-risk-of-poverty or exclusion rate for young people

The indicator concerning at risk of poverty or social exclusion is a composite measure with three subcomponents: the at-risk-of-poverty rate, severe material and social deprivation and households with very low work intensity. The at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate measures the number of persons who are in at least one of the three situations as a proportion of the total population.

Figure 23 shows the development of risk of poverty or social exclusion for young people in the EU by country of birth or their citizenship. Because of data availability, the time series starts only in 2015 rather than in 2012. Moreover, the data for young people born in another EU Member State (except 2021) and young EU citizens are not available as they are of very limited reliability.

The shares of young native-born and foreign-born aged 18 to 29 years at risk of poverty or social exclusion declined steadily and considerably between 2015 and 2019 following a very similar pattern. In 2020, the share observed for young foreign-born persons grew leading to divergence and a significant gap with young native-born persons. In the case of non-EU-born, the dynamic of the gap was even more pronounced. These shares, however, rebounded to some extent in 2021.

Figure 23: At risk of poverty or social exclusion rate of young people by country of birth and by citizenship, EU, 2015-2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps05n) and (ilc_peps06n)

In the vast majority of the 16 EU Member States for which data were available, young EU-born persons were at higher risk of being poor or socially excluded than their young native-born counterparts. The proportion of young EU-born persons exceeded the proportion of young native-born by 20 p.p. or more in nine EU Member States, with the highest gap in Austria (30.8 p.p.). Only in Portugal — the risk of poverty or social exclusion among young EU-born was lower than among young native-born.

If non-EU-born young persons are considered, the gaps were larger. In 13 EU Member States (among 20 for which data was available), the proportion of non-EU-born young persons at risk exceeded the proportion of young native-born persons by 10 p.p. or more. The largest gap was observed in France – 36.2 p.p. (2020 data). The risk of poverty or social exclusion among young non-EU-born young persons was lower than among young native-born persons only in Estonia.

Figure 24: At risk of poverty or exclusion rate of young people (aged 18-29 years) by country of birth, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (ilc_peps06n)

Data sources

Demographic indicators

The data presented in this article are drawn from Eurostat’s population statistics that are collected on an annual basis and are supplied to Eurostat by the national statistical authorities of the EU Member States and EFTA countries.

Socio-economic indicators

The main part of the article uses labour force statistics (LFS) data and statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) to examine the socioeconomic situation of young non-citizens and young foreign-born.

Labour force statistics

LFS provides estimates for the main labour market indicators, such as employment rate, unemployment rate, part-time and temporary employment rate, and other labour-related indicators, as well as important sociodemographic characteristics, such as sex, age, highest level of educational attainment, household characteristics and region of residence.

Statistics on income and living conditions

EU-SILC is the main European source for information relating to income, living conditions and social inclusion such as the share of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion or the share of population suffering from material deprivation.

Context

The indicators presented in this article are based on the Council conclusions on integration of 2010, the subsequent study Indicators of immigrant integration — a pilot study (2011) and the report Using EU indicators of immigrant integration (2013).

There is a strong link between integration and migration policies, since successful integration is often seen as a prerequisite for maximising the economic and social benefits of immigration for individuals as well as societies. EU legislation provides a common legal framework regarding the conditions of entry and stay and a common set of rights for certain categories of migrants. EU policy covers the fight against poverty and social exclusion among society’s vulnerable groups with the goal of active social inclusion and in accordance with the integration of migrants.

The active inclusion strategy of the EU also includes ensuring a decent standard of living for young migrants in the labour market. EU Member States are encouraged to design, promote and implement an integrated comprehensive strategy for the active inclusion of young persons.

In November 2020, an Action plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027 (COM(2016) 377 final) was adopted with the purpose of fostering social cohesion and building inclusive societies for all. Inclusion for all is about ensuring that all policies are accessible to and work for everyone, including migrants and EU citizens with migrant background. This plan includes actions in four sectoral areas (education and training, employment and skills, health and housing) as well as actions supporting effective integration and inclusion in all sectoral areas at the EU, Member State and regional level, with a specific attention paid to young people.

In addition to the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, young people are a priority for the European Union’s social vision, and the COVID-19 crisis further highlighted the need to sustain young human capital.

Following the Council Resolution of 26 November 2018, the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 has been introduced with 11 European Youth Goals and among them quality employment is set as one of the objectives. It should create favourable conditions for young people to develop their skills, fulfil their potential, work, and actively participate in society. In this framework youth statistics are an essential tool to support evidence-based policy-making in the various domains covered by the strategy.

Focus on young people is also highlighted in the European Pillar of Social Rights, which sets out 20 key principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and social protection systems. Principle 4 ('Active support to employment') states that "young people have the right to continued education, apprenticeship, traineeship or a job offer of good standing within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving education".

In October 2020, all EU countries committed to the implementation of the reinforced Youth Guarantee in a Council Recommendation which steps up the comprehensive job support available to young people across the EU and makes it more targeted and inclusive.

2022 was announced as the European Year of Youth. Further information regarding statistics on youth could be found here.

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Notes

  1. A set of common indicators agreed by EU Member States in the Zaragoza Declaration in 2010.