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Percentage of youth (under 30) in transitioning states and democracies who say they have participated in a peaceful demonstration
Brookings Now

Charts of the Week: Young peoples’ engagement in government

In this week’s edition of charts of the week, we look at young people across the world and their civic engagement, including running for office, voting, and participating in peace demonstrations.

Raising the incomes of America’s families increases children’s voter turnout

Parental voting behaviors influence those of their children. Randall Akee finds in his report that poverty is an obstacle for low-income people to access the vote, and that cash transfers for low-income parents lead to a significant increase in voting likelihood for children in the bottom half of the initial income distribution.

In Africa older leaders are governing a younger population

Sixty percent of Africa’s 1.25 billion people are under the age of 25 , however this demographic change has not been represented in governments across the African continent, according to Thione Niang. As a result, young people are feeling as though their issues are not being represented or taken seriously, resulting in a brain drain of highly skilled youth from the continent.

Figure 1.4 Old leaders, young population

Frustrated youth in transitioning states and democracies are participating in peaceful demonstrations

Youth political participation is nuanced, and does not fit into the traditional civic engagement model of showing up to vote and staying up-to-date on news. It includes demonstrating, being active on social media, and reaching out to elected officials. Sarah Yerkes tracks this engagement and sees that the disillusionment many youth are feeling in transitioning states and democracies has caused them to not necessarily lose faith in their political system, but to find alternative ways to engage: such as taking to the streets and protesting.

Percentage of youth (under 30) in transitioning states and democracies who say they have participated in a peaceful demonstration

Julia O’Hanlon contributed to this post.

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