CELEBRATE | November 16, 2016

Saudi Women More Optimistic About Future Opportunities in the Reforming Kingdom

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At the MiSK Global Forum, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday and Wednesday during Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Saudi Youth Index was launched as part of the King Salman Youth Center’s program to inspire young Saudis to create a better future for themselves and the country.

The Index surveyed young Saudis ages 16 to 35, on different topics including their sense of well-being in different aspects of their lives and their outlook on their future. One of the key findings of the Saudi Youth Index is that of the Saudi women surveyed, 82 percent express happiness about their wellbeing, and 85 percent express confidence about the future. Young women surveyed expressed a slightly higher percentage of happiness and confidence than their male counterparts.

In general young Saudis are optimistic, both in terms of their current wellbeing – with 80 percent of those surveyed saying they are happy – and on their future outlook – with 82 percent surveyed saying they have confidence in the future. But their main sources of stress seems to stem in part from a lack of job opportunities, with 34 percent of those surveyed citing concern about employment prospects.

The Youth Survey forms a central plank of the King Salman Youth Center’s (KSYC) initiative to understand and empower young Saudis in support of the central aims of Vision 2030, which seeks to maximize the economic potential of the Kingdom’s high youth population through quality education and training.

The MiSK Global Forum, where the Index was launched, is an international gathering of young people, thought leaders, innovators and business people designed to help foster talent, creative potential and innovative thinking within the new generation in Saudi Arabia through information sharing and exchange of creative ideas.

Methodology of the Index
The Saudi Youth Index 2016 was commissioned by the King Salman Youth Centre from YouGov, as part of the Vision 2030 agenda to understand the needs of different demographics in the Kingdom.

The primary focus of the Youth Index Study was to assess the wellbeing of Saudis between16 and 35 across 13 regions of KSA.

Results were displayed in two separate categories: a Happiness Index (assessing how satisfied youth are with their current lives) and a Confidence Index (assessing how confident youth are about their future). The Indices were calculated based on respondents’ ratings across several indicators including Employment, Education, Accommodation, Community, Family relationships, Social relationships, Money, Physical health, Emotional health, Freedom/decision making and Safety & security.

To allow an in-depth exploration of the issues affecting young people across the Kingdom, the study included both quantitative as well as qualitative phases. In the quantitative phase, interviews were conducted face to face, with 1,528 Saudi youth across the Kingdom. In the qualitative phase teams conducted in depth interviews with 12 friendship triads in Riyadh, Jeddah and Qatif. The fieldwork was conducted between September 4 and October 6, 2016. KSYC intends to conduct a second survey in 2017.

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Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she creates daily… About the author