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Young people aged 15 to 29 accounted for barely 13.4 % of the entire population of the Basque Country in 2019

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On the occasion of World Population Day (11 July), the Basque Youth Observatory would like to present some data regarding the proportion of young people in relation to the population of the Basque Country as a whole.

As of 1 January 2019, there were 294,000 young people aged 15 to 29 registered in the Basque Country. If we compare this figure with the records for 2001 (466,002), we find that there has been a drop of 172,000 young people in just 20 years.

Evolution of the number of young people aged 15 to 29 residing in the Basque Country

Source: Basque Youth Observatory, based on data from Eustat (Municipal Inhabitants Statistics)

However, the figure for 2019 has not been the lowest this century. In 2016, there were 283,517 young people. And since that year, the number of young people has gradually increased.

When calculating the proportion of young people aged 15 to 29 in relation to the entire population of the Basque Country, which is what we call the Youth Index, we find that it stood at 13.4 % in 2019.

This proportion appears to have stabilised since 2014, having declined significantly since the beginning of the century. Indeed, in the year 2000, the proportion of young people in relation to the population of the Basque Country stood at 22.2 %.

Evolution of the Youth Index in the Basque Country (%)

If we compare the 2019 figure with the figures recorded in the European Union, we find that the Basque Country remains in the last place, with the smallest proportion of young people in relation to its population.

Comparison of the Youth Index in the European Union in 2019 (%)

Source: Basque Youth Observatory, based on data from Eustat (Municipal Inhabitants Statistics) and Eurostat (Youth data)

However, the most worrying aspect is not the small proportion of young people but the fact that the rest of the population is very old. In 2019, for every 100 people over the age of 64, there were only 60.4 young people between the ages of 15 and 29.

At the beginning of the century, there were more young people than people over 64 years of age and, therefore, until 2006, the ratio stood above 100. However, the decline in the proportion of young people has been linked to an increase in the proportion of older people and the ratio has therefore experienced a steady decline, which seems to have slowed since 2017.

Evolution of the ratio of young people (15-29) in relation to those over 64 years of age

Source: Basque Youth Observatory, based on data from Eustat (Municipal Inhabitants Statistics)

If we compare the figures of the Basque Country with those of the 28 states that were members of the European Union in 2019, we find that the Basque ratio is the lowest.

Comparison of the youth/over-64 ratio in the European Union in 2019

Source: Basque Youth Observatory, based on data from Eustat (Municipal Inhabitants Statistics) and Eurostat (Youth data)