Singapore ranked first for the first time, followed by Slovenia, Norway, Malta and Denmark.
Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Niger finished last respectively.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has released its triennial rankings of youth development in 181 countries, with 156 of them registering at least slight improvements in their scores.
While the data used in the index predates Covid-19, the report highlights the positive trajectory of youth development, which the virus could reverse for the first time unless urgent action is taken to secure young people. pre-pandemic gains.
The index ranks countries between 0.00 (lowest) and 1.00 (highest), based on progress in youth education, employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic participation.
It looks at 27 indicators, including literacy and voting, to show the state of the world’s 1.8 billion people aged 15-29.
Afghanistan, India, Russia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso were the top five to improve their score by an average of 15.74%.
In contrast, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Jordan and Lebanon recorded the largest decline in youth development between 2010 and 2018.
Overall, the index showed progress in youth participation in peace processes and in their education, employment, inclusion and health care since 2010.
Health recorded the largest gains of 4.39%, due to a 1.6% drop in global youth mortality rates and a 2% drop in HIV, self-harm, alcohol abuse and smoking.
Sub-Saharan Africa has made the greatest
in improving the health of young people.
Levels of underemployed youth and those not in school, training or work have remained constant. Progress in equality and inclusion is being led by improved gender parity in literacy as well as fewer instances of child marriage and pregnancies among girls under 20. Yet no progress has been made on women’s safety.
The overall education score increased by 3%, with South Asia making the greatest improvement at 16%, followed by sub-Saharan Africa at 10%.
Peace and security improved by 3.41%, thanks to a decrease in the number of young people dying as a result of direct violence.
Somalia recorded the greatest gains in youth peace and security, followed by Colombia, Sri Lanka, Eritrea and Russia.
Youth participation in politics is the only area that recorded a decline in most regions of the world, reporting a deterioration in 102 countries. However, Sub-Saharan Africa recorded a 5% improvement in the average regional score.
Globally, Sweden leads in education, Luxembourg in equality and inclusion, Indonesia in political and civic participation, while Singapore leads in employment, health and peace and security.
Speaking ahead of publication, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland said: “Young people are essential to delivering a more just, inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. By measuring their contributions and needs with hard data, our advocacy for their development becomes more powerful, and we are then able to incrementally increase the positive impact and benefits that young people can bring to building a future. better for all of us. »