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Youth in Syria

Collecting rubbish in Aleppo (Photo HH)

More than one in three Syrians is 14 years of age, or younger (36 percent in 2011). The population growth rate was 1.8 percent in 2011 (World Bank) The economy is not growing fast enough to provide jobs for the youth of Syria. Presently, the unemployment rate is estimated at 8.4 percent. However, there are no accurate figures, and unemployment is much higher among the youth (World Bank estimate for 2010 is 19.2 percent). Syria has a population of around 20 million people, and Syrian government figures place the population growth rate at 2.45 percent, with 75 percent under the age of 35 and more than 40 percent under the age of 15Approximately 200,000 people enter the labour market every year (IMF Country Report).

On the other hand, a significant number of the unemployed may be employed in the informal sector. A report by the Norwegian research institute FAFO made for UNICEF mentions the figure of more than 600,000 employed children aged 10-17. They were used to working long hours for little pay, and the vast majority of them were not enrolled in school(Magnitude and Characteristics of Working Children in Syria, FAFO).

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