Youth Who Neither Study Nor Work: Can’t or Won’t? The Brazilian Example

One in every five young Brazilians neither study nor work, its almost 10 million youth aged between 15 and 29 years, according to the study Summary of Social Indicators, conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). This number equals almost the entire population of Portugal or three times the population of Uruguay.

According to the research done by IBGE, there are 49 million Brazilians aged between 15 and 29 years. This way, every one in five of these people are in the group called “neither-nor” by experts, meaning that they are neither enrolled at school nor employed. The IBGE study suggested that out of this contingent, 26,3% were in search of employment.

Among the regions of Brazil, the southeast has the highest rate of young people who neither study nor work (37,9%), followed by the northeast (35,2%). In northern Brazil, the indicator is at 10.6%, with 9.6% and 6.7% in the south and mid-west of the country.

According to IBGE, 69% of the young people in the “neither-nor” group were women. The study suggested that they had 8,6 years of schooling on average.

“The ‘neither-nor’ group in Brazil has a profile: majority are women, mothers, from the north and the northeast of the country, with a low educational level,” stated Cintia Simões, researcher at IBGE.

Young people are reportedly the most affected by unemployment in the country, with the unemployment rate among those between 16 and 24 years being 14,8% in 2013. Among those between 25 and 39 years, the indicator was 6,2%, falling to 3,7% among those between 40 and 49 years of age.

The study Summary of Social Indicators used data from the National Survey by Household Sample (Pnad) for 2013, Population Census in 2010, Brazil’s Population Projection by sex and age in 2013 from the IBGE; and databases of the National Institute of Educational Studies Anisio Teixeira (INEP) from the Ministry of Health.

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