European Youth survey highlights participation of young people

Photo of young café barista at cash register

The Flash Eurobarometer 408 survey on ‘European Youth’, published on 23 April by the European Commission, looks at how young EU citizens aged 15–30 participate in society and highlights a number of concerns that they face.

Confidence about a job

Although 26% of young people are very confident about finding a job once they finish their studies, 18% are not very confident. Young people in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Austria appear the most confident, compared with those in Greece, Spain and Cyprus. Not finding a long-term contract or a stable job is reported as a concern by 31% of respondents, and having to move to find a job is a concern among 16%.

Participation in organisations

Compared with previous surveys, young people report stable levels or slight decreases in participation in sports clubs, youth clubs, leisure clubs or other youth organisations in the previous 12 months. Almost half (49%) say they participated in at least one form of organised activity, down from 56% in 2011. Young men are also more active in this area than young women.

Political elections

Voting in political elections in the past three years has generally been higher at the local (47%) and national levels (43%), followed by regional (37%) and EU levels (31%). A majority of respondents voted in 24 Member States, while fewer than half voted in Lithuania (49%), Ireland (48%), Cyprus (47%) and the UK (45%).


One-quarter of young people report involvement in volunteering in the previous 12 months. The highest levels are in Ireland (42%), Denmark (39%) and the Netherlands (38%), while the lowest are in Bulgaria (10%), Greece (13%) and Sweden (15%).

Charity, humanitarian and development aid is the most common area for volunteering, followed by education, training or sport. Of those who had taken part in voluntary activities, 28% report incurring expenses but not receiving any contributions towards them.

Only 6% of young people have volunteered abroad, with 93% never having volunteered abroad: 88% had no opportunity to do so, while 5% have had the opportunity but not availed of it. Young people in the Netherlands (11%) and Ireland (10%) are most likely to have volunteered abroad.

Download the full report, summary or national factsheets: Flash Eurobarometer 408: European Youth

About the survey

Flash Eurobarometer 408 was carried out in December 2014 by TNS Political & Social network among 13,454 young people aged 15–30 in the EU28. It studied how young Europeans participate in society, looking at their main concerns and confidence in finding employment, as well as their participation in voluntary work and youth projects, activities of various organisations, political elections and cultural activities.

Eurofound research

  • Eurofound (29 April 2015): Youth entrepreneurship: Values, attitudes, policies
    This report looks at factors influencing the decision to become self-employed, the attitudes of young people towards entrepreneurship, work values and personality traits of young European entrepreneurs, and successful measures to foster youth entrepreneurship in five EU countries.
  • Eurofound is currently investigating the early implementation of the Youth Guarantee in 10 Member States under its ‘Social inclusion of young people’ research project, which will result in a report in autumn 2015.  
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