World

Before Conflict, Many Young Libyans Doubted Role in Progress

by Julie Ray

Libya's youth less sure than young people in other middle-income Arab countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ahead of the uprising in Libya, majorities of young Libyans believed young men and young women could help the country make substantial progress in the next decade. Sixty-six percent of 15- to 29-year-olds surveyed in the areas of Tripoli, Benghazi, and Al Kufrah in 2010 said young men could further the country's advancement and 55% said this about young women.

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However, compared with other young people living in Arab middle-income countries where GDP per capita ranges from $2,600 to less than $23,000, young Libyans were the least likely to say young men and women could help the country make substantial progress. Percentages were well above a majority in most middle-income countries: A median of 94% of young Arabs said young men could help, while the median who said this about young women was 79%.

Implications

The situation in Libya is changing by the hour as the allied military intervention continues, but the country's progress in the long term depends on its young people. Engaging young Libyans who were already feeling uncertain about their role in the country's future will be crucial in the days ahead and the next decade.

These results are based on the latest research to appear in the fourth edition of "The Silatech Index: Voices of Young Arabs," which will be published in April. The Silatech Index report, prepared in partnership with Gallup, measures and analyzes young Arabs' attitudes with respect to their hopes and desires, human capital, work, entrepreneurship, and obstacles to success.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 906 nationals in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Al Kufrah, Libya, aged 15 to 29, conducted in September and October 2010. The 2010 survey skews high on education. The samples represent roughly half of the adult population. For results based on the sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.5 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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