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Top 10 findings about Arab youth

PR agency Asda'a Burson-Marsteller has revealed the results of its Arab Youth Survey for the fifth consecutive year. It taps into the mindset of the young Arabs in the region and highlights the ten most important findings of the study.

April 9, 2013 7:02 by

  • Majority of Arab youth believe that “our best days are ahead of us”

    This was actually the general theme of this year's study as it paints a general notion of social, political and economic optimism among the region's young demographic (18-24 years). About three quarters of participants feel their best days are yet to come and are 'hopeful for an improvement in their own economic prospects. This applies to both GCC and Non-GCC countries. For the UAE, 88 percent of Emiratis feel their country is heading in the right direction.

  • Arab youth have more national pride since the Arab Spring

    Arab youth have a greater sense of national identity following the uprisings. Only 28 percent of participants felt uncertain about the future of their country, 35 percent felt anxiety at what the future may bring and 87 percent have said they're prouder than ever to be an Arab.

  • Fair pay remains the top priority of Arab youth

    It's quite difficult to quantify what 'fair pay' is - particularly when there is a divide between the private and public sector of each country. Still, being paid a fair wage is of greatest importance to young Arabs across the MENA, while unemployment continues to be seen as one of the region’s gravest challenges. Across all 15 of the countries surveyed, 46 percent say they'd prefer to work for the government.

  • Home ownership is increasingly important

    Among some of the options given to Arab participants - like living in a democracy or being able to afford luxuries - they've chosen owning their own home as being drastically more important. Young Arabs are preparing to purchase property later in life and many fear they will never be able to own their own home.

  • Rising living costs continues to be the top concern among Middle East youth

    This one's rather obvious, we admit. In fact, we didn't need the survey to figure this one out but the anxiety about living costs is evenly split across GCC and non-GCC states, and noticeably up from two years ago. Some of the other major concerns spread across the Arab world include the economy, impact of the Arab Spring, unemployment and opportunities for women.

  • Civil unrest and lack of democracy are the biggest barriers facing the region

    Aside from financial issues, loss of traditional values and a 'lack of Arab unity'; civil unrest and lack of democracy were voted as being the biggest obstacles the region is facing.

  • The UAE continues to be seen as a model nation

    When participants were asked which country they'd like to live in, 'which country in the world would you most like your country to be like' and 'as your country develops, which country's model of growth and development would you like your own country to follow' - the UAE came in first on all three counts. There was no specific insight as to what precise factors played into their decision but this was the overall sentiment.

  • Among nations outside MENA, France viewed most favourably by Arab youth

    Outside the Arab region, France is looked upon most favourably by the Arab youth, followed by Germany and China.

  • News consumption is falling and newspaper readership is hardest hit

    The fact that Arab youth still rely on TV as their main source of news is no surprise, as it's been that way for years. And we all know that newspapers and magazines have been suffering with a decline in readership but it's interesting to see that the youth update themselves less frequently now than they did in 2012. After television comes 'online', followed by social media, newspapers, friends and family, magazines and radio.

  • Social media is becoming increasingly influential

    What this category really tries to uncover is the lack of trust that Arab youth have in certain media outlets. Trust in websites and social media as reliable news sources has risen sharply from 2012 - while newspapers and TV have suffered a tremendous blow. In 2012, 18 percent trusted newspapers and 60 percent trusted TV. This year, that percentage has halved for newspapers and dropped to 40 percent for TV. Luckily for websites (a vague term in this regard - this mainly refers to general websites) and social media, the trust is now at 26 and 22 percent respectively.


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