Surveying young people in Egypt before and after the revolution.


For decades, the Population Council has generated evidence about the lives of young people in Egypt. In 1997, the Council conducted the groundbreaking Adolescence and Social Change in Egypt survey, interviewing more than 9,000 young people. In 2009, the Council interviewed a nationally representative sample of around 15,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 29, from 11,000 households--conducting the Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE), one of the largest surveys of young people in the Middle East and North Africa.

The results of these studies--which offered gender-disaggregated information on health, schooling, employment, civic engagement, and many other topics--were used to inform government policies for young people. They were also used to inform two of the Council's own pioneering programs, Ishraq and Neqdar Nesharek, to empower girls and young women in rural Upper Egypt.

Two years after data were collected for SYPE, young people electrified the world by playing an active part in demanding "bread, freedom, and social justice" and ousting Egypt's regime of 30 years. The intervening years have been turbulent.

In 2014, the Council reinterviewed more than 10,000 respondents from the 2009 survey. This new study offers a unique and valuable collection of data on the lives of young people in Egypt before and after the Revolution.

A survey of Egypt's young people is particularly informative because a high proportion of the country's population is under age 30, forming a so called "youth bulge." Approximately 60 percent of the population is under age 30, and 40 percent of those individuals are between the ages of 10 and 29. This demographic pattern has significant implications for the country's future. Targeted investment in young people--Egypt's future leaders--can bring considerable economic benefit to the country. However, if the health, education, and economic needs of Egypt's young people are not addressed, the results for these individuals, as well as for the country, could be devastating.

Comparing the findings of SYPE 2009 and 2014 provides an unparalleled picture of the lives of young people in Egypt, before and after the Revolution. The findings are an invaluable source of support for policymakers who seek to develop evidence-based policies and programs to enhance the potential and well-being of Egyptian young people and the country as a whole.

Key findings and policy implications

Overall, SYPE 2014 found that Egypt's young...

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