by Urs Rellstab on 2nd May 2012 • Insights and Reports, Press Release, Studies
Dubai, UAE; May 2, 2012: Earning a fair wage and owning a home are now the two highest priorities for young people in the Middle East – displacing living in a democracy as the greatest aspiration of regional youth, according to the findings of the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2012, the largest study of its kind of the region’s largest demographic.
Informed by 2,500 interviews conducted by international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) in 12 Middle East states one year after the start of the Arab Spring, the findings of the Fourth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey highlight how larger political concerns have now been superseded by more personal, economic anxieties.
Today, being paid a fair wage is not only the highest collective priority among those surveyed – with 82 per cent of all Arab youth citing it as “very important” – but is also the highest individual priority in each of the 12 countries covered.
Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said that living in a democratic country is “very important” to them declined by 10 per cent in the 2012 survey. This year, 58 per cent of Arab youth said that this is “very important” them, down from 68 per cent in 2011.
These findings and others were unveiled today in Dubai at the launch of the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2012. The survey includes face-to-face interviews with Arabs between the ages of 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), as well as in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and, for the first time, Libya and Tunisia. These interviews, which were conducted exclusively with nationals of each of the surveyed countries, took place in December 2011 and January 2012.
Key findings of the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2012 include the following insights:
- 82% of all youth surveyed say that being paid a fair wage is “very important” to them, up from just 63% in 2011
- Owning their own home is the second-highest priority for Arab youth, with 65% of those surveyed saying this is “very important” to them, a slight increase from 61% in 2011
- Home ownership is of special significance to Lebanese youth, 75% of whom say this is “very important,” followed by Egypt (71%), Tunisia and Bahrain (67% each)
- The rising cost of living is the greatest concern among Middle East youth; 63% of Arab youth now say that they are “very concerned” about the cost of living, up from 57% last year, when this was also their greatest concern
- 41% of Arab youth say that the lack of democracy is the biggest obstacle facing the region; an equal percentage identify civil unrest as the biggest obstacle
- 72% of Middle East youth agree that, following the events of the Arab Spring, the region is better off today; 68% of Arab youth say they are also personally better off now than they were a year ago
- Nearly three-quarters of Middle East youth believe their government has become more trustworthy and transparent since the events of the Arab Spring – at the same time that concerns about corruption have skyrocketed
- A majority of young people in every Middle East state agrees that traditional values are paramount; however, the percentage of youth who say that such values are outdated and need to be replaced continues to increase
- When Arab youth look across the region and the world, they see the United Arab Emirates as the country where they would most like to live – and as the country they would most like their own nation to emulate
- Young people in the Middle East today view France most favourably among all foreign nations, with 46% of respondents saying they are “very favourable” towards that nation; positive views of China and India have also increased
- Arab youth are following the news far more keenly than ever before – with 52% of regional young people now saying they update themselves on news and current affairs every day, up from just 18% in 2011
- Television remains the most important source of news for Arab youth, with 62% of respondents saying their turn on the TV to get their news – but that number has declined from 79% in 2011
- Today, reading or writing blogs is the top online activity among young people in the region, with 61% saying they engage with blogs, up from only 29% in 2011
A wide range of materials based on the findings of the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2012 are available to the public at: http://arabyouthsurvey.com
Dr. Urs Rellstab
CEO Burson-Marsteller, Schweiz
T: +41 79 669 56 10
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