Statistical analyses 136

Living conditions among youth

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The main purpose of this publication is to provide a description of the living conditions among youth and young adults aged 16-30 years living in Norway, with particular emphasis on those who are young and marginalized. Chapter 1 presents the demographic characteristics of youth and young adults aged 16-30. Most young people complete primary school and immediately continue on to secondary education (Chapter 2). Less than 7 percent of those aged 16-30 years were without work and had not completed upper secondary education in 2011.

In excess of 17 400 people aged 15-19 were registered as either unemployed or not in the labor force in 2008 (Chapter 3). After one year, over a third of these were employed, a figure that rose to 40 percent one year later. In 2011, 8 percent of the 15-19 year olds who were outside the labor market in 2008, were still unemployed. The younger you are, the more likely it is to have unsafe conditions at the workplace. Furthermore, poor working environment is seen as a special way of being marginalized.

Like the rest of the population, youth and young adults experienced a strong increase in household income over the past decade (Chapter 4). Young people who come from families receiving social welfare, and who have low household income, are more likely to be marginalized as adults than other children.

There are few reports on material deprivation in Norway (Chapter 5), but youth report to a greater extent than adults that they lack certain material goods because of the economy. The probability of missing at least one material good is highest among young people who are in a low income household. It is also greater for youth who are single, who have immigrated from Africa, Asia etc., who are marginalized and are students.

We see a clear trend towards more health problems among young people aged 16-30 years who are not employed or in education, even if they in numbers are few (Chapter 6). They have poorer self-rated health than other youth, more diseases and more ailments. But we see no major differences between the marginalized and young people in general in the use of health services.

Among young people born in 1980 who complete secondary education, nine out of ten have had long-term employment at least once in the period 1996-2010, before the age of 30 years (Chapter 7). This holds for eight out of ten of those who do not complete secondary education. Only 5 percent of those born in 1980 have received help from the Child Welfare Services one or more times in the period 1994-1998, ie during the teenage years. Among those who have received help from the Child Welfare Services, 70 percent did not complete secondary education in 1996-2000. This means that they have not completed high school before the age of 20.

There is little difference between type of housing among the marginalized and those who are not marginalized in the same age group, although a slightly higher proportion seem to live in terraced or semi-detached houses (Chapter 8). There are greater differences between those who rent and those who own their home. Marginalized young people are less likely to own their own home compare to young people who are not marginalized.

Today, a smaller proportion of today’s youth (15-29 years) end up being accused of offenses for profit and traffic than 20 years ago (Chapter 9). But never before have so many youth and young adults been charged with drug offenses and sexual offenses. The number of persons charged with offenses have evolved differently for the youngest adolescents, older adolescents and adults during the last 30 years.

Social capital is defined in Chapter 10 as a resource consisting of two parts: network and trust. Youth and young adults are in general socially active, have trust in others, and have a good social network. They are surrounded by someone they trust who shows an interest in what they do. But this is less prevalent among youth and young adults who do not work or study, and among social assistance recipients, i.e. the marginalized.

Finally, in Chapter 11, we look at how young people in Norway fare compared to the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe when it comes to poverty, work affiliation, marginalization, exclusion, and self-assessed health and disability.

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