Center for Strategic Communication

On Monday, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller released the results of its sixth annual Arab Youth Survey, a poll conducted to gain insight into the opinions, attitudes, and aspirations of the 200 million youth in the Middle East and North Africa. This sixth annual report aims to inform policy and decision makers in both the public and private sectors and was conducted with ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s sister agency, international polling firm PSB.

The 2014 report is the largest yet, including results from 3,500 Arab youths aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain), Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, and—for the first time—Palestine. This year’s report did not include Syria due to unrest in the country.

The Arab Youth Survey identified 10 key findings:

  • A growing number of Arab youth are embracing modern values, while family, friends, and religion continue to shape their opinions and influence their lives.
  • Youngsters are confident in their national governments’ ability to deal with a wide range of issues. Confidence in the long term impact of the Arab Spring is dropping.
  • Rising living costs and unemployment are the biggest concerns for youth across the Middle East.
  • Arab youth believe that civil unrest is the biggest obstacle facing the region.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit is high and a growing number of young Arabs would like to work in the private sector.
  • The UAE is the country that most Arab youth would like to live in and is seen as a model for their country to emulate.
  • Arab youth consider their country’s biggest allies to be regional neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE rather than traditional Western countries.
  • Arab youth are increasingly concerned about obesity and lifestyle diseases and do not believe that healthcare in their country is improving.
  • An overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe they are entitled to subsidized energy costs, while concern about climate change is low across the region.
  • Television is the most popular source of news for the sixth year running, but a growing number of youth Arabs are turning to online and social networks to get their news.

To view more information about the findings in video or text form, and to download the full report, please visit the Arab Youth Survey website here.

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