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#YouthNow: The Situation of Global Youth on Information and Communication Technology

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The #YouthNow global report on the situation of global youth on Information and Communication technology was published by Office of the UN Youth Envoy. Here are details of their outcome:

  • Definition: A digital native is defined as a youth, aged 15-24 inclusive, with five years or more experience using the Internet. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • While 30% of the youth population are digital natives today, within the next 5 years the digital native population in the developing world is expected to double. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Within the next 5 years, therefore, the digital native population in the developing countries will more than double. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Both national and international policy-makers are also paying increasing attention to digital natives, not only because of the possibilities that ICTs open up for young people all around the world, but also on account of the role that young people play in shaping and driving the information society.[ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • ICT  has played a central role in young people’s rise to prominence on a global scale. It has helped them to mobilize and collaborate, and it has given them a voice where before they had none. [ITU, 2013,http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Digital natives, according to Prensky, are the generation of young people who are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet (Prensky, 2001a: 1). E-mail, cellphones and instant messages are not only a part of their lives but are integral parts of their lives. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • The estimated proportion of a total population that are digital natives varies between countries, from a low of 0.13% (Timor-Leste) to a high of 14% (Iceland).The countries at the median are Belarus and Syria, with 5.5% and 5.4% digital natives, respectively. Interestingly, China is very close to the median, with digital natives representing 5.6% of its population. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • The variation in the proportion of a nation’s youth population that are estimated as having been Internet users for 5 years or more (i.e. are digital natives) in 2012 ranges from a high 99.6% in the Republic of Korea to a low 0.6% in Timor-Leste. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In 21 countries (mainly high-income and developed), more than 90% of 15-24 year olds have been online for at least 5 years. The figure varies significantly according to region and economic level, between 9.2% in the Africa region and 79.1% in Europe. [ITU, 2013,http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Similarly, 8 out of 10 young people in Europe have 5 or more years of experience on the Internet, while only about one in 10 young people in Africa have had similar network experience. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Worldwide, youth are nearly two times more networked than the global population as a whole. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In most of the world’s least developed countries, young people are nearly three times more likely than the general population to be using the Internet. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • Overall, as secondary and tertiary school enrolment levels go up, so too does the percentage of digital natives. This suggests that secondary and tertiary education plays a positive role in enhancing levels of digital nativism, although this may also be the outcome of additional factors. [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • “Digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life” [ITU, 2013, http://bit.ly/1ev2Q5J]
  • In remote schools, Internet access provides the vehicle for online learning and access to educational content. In addition to the educational benefits resulting from the use of ICTs in schools, in remote and rural areas schools are indeed often the only place where young people can use the Internet. [ITU, 2014, http://bit.ly/1xrVMi8]
  • Adolescent girls’ access to technology is limited by the societies, communities and families in which they live. [Plan International, 2012, http://bit.ly/1xcazjc]
  • In Ghana, only 6.6% of females use internet cafés compared with 16.5% of male youth. [Plan International, 2012, http://bit.ly/1xcazjc]
  • In Indonesia, girls and young women aged 15 to 24 are half as likely to use the internet as boys the same age. [Plan International, 2012, http://bit.ly/1xcazjc]
  • In one study in the US, 41% of adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 17 said they had experienced bullying via the internet or mobile phone, compared with 29% of boys. [Plan International, 2012, http://bit.ly/1xcazjc]
  • Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost 7 billion by end 2014, and 3.6 billion of these will be in the Asia-Pacific region. [ITU, 2014,http://bit.ly/1Jtj6Hz]
  • Globally, there are more than 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions, corresponding to a penetration rate of 97%. [ITU, 2015,http://bit.ly/1FOoa6p]
  • Globally 3.2 billion people are using the Internet, of which 2 billion are from developing countries. [ITU, 2015, http://bit.ly/1FOoa6p]

Source: UN Youth Envoy

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