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8 facts about young people

What do we know about young people?

It’s that time of year again when many 16-24 year olds have either gone ‘back-to-school’ or are starting or returning to higher education. To paint a picture of what it means to be a young person today, the ONS has collected together a range of statistics from education, to marriage, crime and parenthood.

Most of these facts consider young people to be those aged 16-24, but a few consider the under 20s only.

1. 12% of the population in England and Wales were aged 16-24 in 2011, down from 16% in 1911

1. 12% of the population in England and Wales were aged 16-24 in 2011, down from 16% in 1911

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The most recent Census data tells us that there were 6.7 million people aged 16 to 24 in England and Wales in 2011, which was 12% of the total population.

In 1911, 16% of the population were aged 16-24 but this percentage fell during the 20th century. One reason for this is the reduction in the number of children born per woman. Another is that people are living longer so young people make up a smaller proportion of the total population.

Discover more about Census population data.

2. In 2012, 14% of brides were under 25, compared with 76% in the late 1960s

2. In 2012, 14% of brides were under 25, compared with 76% in the late 1960s

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In the years from 1966 to 1970, the percentage of brides under 25 reached a peak of 76%. For grooms the peak came in 1970 and was lower, at 62%. These percentages have since fallen substantially and the most recent provisional figures for 2012 show 14% of brides and 8% of grooms were under 25 in England and Wales.

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3. 4% of live births in 2013 were to mothers aged under 20, the same as in 1938

3. 4% of live births in 2013 were to mothers aged under 20, the same as in 1938

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In 1938, 4% of all live births in England and Wales were to mothers under 20. In 1972 this figure reached a high of 11% before returning to 4% in 2013.

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4. The number of young people aged 16-24 in full-time education more than doubled between 1984 and 2013

4. The number of young people aged 16-24 in full-time education more than doubled between 1984 and 2013

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In 1984, 1.4 million or 17% of young people aged 16-24 in the UK were in full-time education. In 2013 this had more than doubled to 3.0 million or 42% of young people aged 16-24.

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5. A young person’s labour market status partly depends on whether or not they are in full-time education

5. A young person’s labour market status partly depends on whether or not they are in full-time education

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About two thirds of young people aged 16-24 in the UK who were in full-time education in April-June 2014, were either not looking or not available for work alongside their studies. This means they were classed are “inactive” rather than unemployed. Focusing on those who were not in full-time education but who were still classed as inactive; the most common reason given is that they were looking after the family and/or home.

Looking for more statistics or want to contact us about the labour market

6. 955,000 young people in the UK were Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) in 2014

6. 955,000 young people in the UK were Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) in 2014

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While standard labour market statistics focus on employment, unemployment and inactivity, the concept of those people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) is also important when considering young people aged between 16 and 24.

In April-June 2014, 955,000 people aged 16-24 were NEET in the UK. This has been falling steadily over the past year, in April-June 2013, 1.092 million young people were NEET. However, it is important to note that the fall of 138,000 in the total number of young people who were NEET over the past year may partly reflect the decrease of 31,000 in the overall number of young people.

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7. In 2013, 49% of 20 – 24 year olds in the UK lived with their parents, up from 42% in 2008

7. In 2013, 49% of 20 – 24 year olds in the UK lived with their parents, up from 42% in 2008

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In 2013 49% of 20-24 year olds in the UK lived with their parents, up from 42% in 2008. This increase may be related to the economic downturn. The percentage of 16 to 19 year olds living at home has remained fairly steady over this time (84% in 2008 and 86% in 2013).

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Young people are more likely to be victims of crime than older people

Young people are more likely to be victims of crime than older people

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In 2013/14, 25% of young people aged 16-24 had been a victim of crime at least once in the past year. This is a higher percentage than for all older age groups.

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Would you like to see more from the ONS?

Here is some similar content:

9 facts about marriages

The latest on the UK labour market

Births in England and Wales, 2013

Young adults living with their parents in the UK, 2013

Teenage pregnancies: how does your area compare?

Categories: Population, Labour Market, People and Places, Health and Social Care, Crime and Justice, Children, Education and Skills, Deaths, Marriages, Cohabitations, Civil Partnerships and Divorces, Families, Children and Young People, Marriages, Housing and Households, Live Births, Live Births and Stillbirths, Births and Fertility, Crime
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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