Optimism Now Resides with Emerging Market Youth

Citi Foundation commissioned an Ipsos survey to examine the economic prospects and pursuits of young people in 45 cities from 32 countries around the world. The following findings are based on the voices of the nearly 7,000 young people surveyed. This survey highlights the differences between the developed and the developing world.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US
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These findings illustrate a profound gap between the desire to succeed – which is real and shared among these young people – and the knowledge and opportunity of how to succeed. For a generation experiencing far less economic growth than prior generations, understanding these potential misalignments are as urgent and pressing as ever.

This research is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, designed to boost the employability of young people, ages 16-24, around the globe.

Young people (defined as 16-24 year olds) are a significant population representing about 1.2 billion people and 16% of the world’s population.

Findings of the Citi / Ipsos Global Survey:

Achieving “Success”

Eight in ten (79%) young people in developing markets believe they will find opportunities to succeed in their preferred career; compared to 64% of their counterparts in developed markets.

More than three-quarters say they are doing better relative to their parents at their age in terms of their ability to get an education (83%), their ability to achieve their professional goals (78%), their access to quality health care (77%), and their opportunities for professional success (77%).

Home Ownership & Location

Young people are far less optimistic about their ability to afford a home (57%) relative to their parents at their age.

Perhaps this “opportunity gap” is a motivating factor behind the mobility of young people. A quarter (24%) of young people surveyed have moved within the last 5 years, citing more or better education opportunities (40%) and more work opportunities (36%) as the reasons for moving.

Access to Education & Training

Globally, 67% of young people believe that a university education is needed to be successful. However, just as many (69%) see education as beyond their financial means.

Eight in ten young people (78%) agree that apprenticeships and internships are critical to their career success.

Be Your Own Boss Generation

The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in all of the surveyed cities, with seven in ten (69%) of young people dreaming of starting their own business.

  • Additionally, 70% of young people say that owning their own business is a better path to success than working for someone else.
  • More than three quarters of young people are willing to work long hours (76%) and think it’s worth taking risks to achieve their dream (82%).
These are the findings from a study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Citi Foundation. The survey was conducted online between November 2016 and January 2017 among 6,894 respondents, age 18-24 years old in 45 cities around the globe. 

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US