Yesterday was International Youth Day. The UK’s young people just don’t fit the EU bill, according to an EU report.

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readAug 13, 2019

Each year the EU celebrates International Youth Day with its annual report, let's look at how young British people compare to their counterparts in the EU.

Annually the EU’s official statistics agency (Eurostat) looks at aspects of life for young people across the EU, and the data below comes from their findings. chosen is a 22-year-old male, to provide the comparisons. (sorry ladies)

Compared to his contemporaries in the rest of the EU
the average 22-year old British male is.

1.52% more likely to have moved out of his parents’ home

2. 84% more likely to be a graduate

3. 25% more likely to be employed

4. 42% more likely to be in permanent, not temporary, employment

5. 33% more likely to use internet banking

6. 74% more likely to buy tickets for events online

7. 72% more likely to buy music online

What about youth unemployment?

As for so many years, the EU is way behind the UK on dealing with youth unemployment. The EU has made youth unemployment a major priority for many years now and yet they have done almost nothing useful on this.

The youth unemployment rate in the UK is now 11.3% whereas in the Eurozone it is 16.9%

This means that despite the EU’s actions,
today you are almost 50% more likely to be unemployed
in the Eurozone than in the UK.

It’s worth pointing out that in several countries the situation for young people remains even more dire than the EU averages suggest. The latest figures from the EU for 2018 show the following youth unemployment rates:-

Greece 39.9%

Spain 34.3%

Italy 32.2%

Croatia 23.7%

France 20.7%

As a young person, you are almost four times as likely to be unemployed in Greece, three times as likely to be unemployed in Spain and Italy, and almost twice as likely to be unemployed in our nearest neighbour, France.

In some regions of the EU27 countries, the rate is appallingly high — well over 50%.

A fundamental part of the narrative for young British people from their teachers and lecturers, and from the Remain organisations, has been the question of ‘being part of Europe’. Or, as I call it, ‘being part of the EU’, which is of course very different and which is a more accurate description.

All I ask is that the great questioning spirit of the young is applied to the EU. Regardless of what young people have been told, there are always facts to look at,

Young Brits generally have a good reputation amongst their peers in the EU27 countries

Whether it’s the attraction of cutting edge music, exciting fashion or just experiencing the independent spirit in the UK, the young of the EU27 flock to our country to imbibe our youth culture — as well as to find the jobs which simply aren’t available in their own countries.

Meanwhile, young British people have not been imbued with any sense at all that they might be part of a great country. Many believe that other EU countries are in some way ‘better’, or have a lot to teach us. Naturally, this stems from the education which has been provided to young British people over recent decades.

Part of Brexit is about reaching out globally

So many pro-Brexit people are seeing the exciting opportunities ahead of the country as we once again become a strong and free nation on the global stage. Isn’t it strange that the narrative for many of young people has been of “Little Britain”?

[ Sources: EU Commission | Eurostat | Office for National Statistics ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.