Youth Outlooks: Life Quality and Economic Conditions (Press Release)

In this two-part Arab Pulse blog series, Arab Barometer’s research specialist, Maitha Alsuwaidi, explores MENA youth’s outlook on their quality of life and economic conditions. 

Here are nine key findings from the two-part blog series:

  1. MENA Youth’s (ages 18-29) perceptions on quality of life and their countries’ economies are not different from the perceptions of older age groups.
  2. When it comes to future outlooks, MENA citizens’ opinions – and especially the youth –  on their quality of life are not necessarily or exclusively driven by their perception of their countries’ economies. 
  3. Contrary to the rest of the region, the majority of Kuwaitis are positive about current and future quality of life, but only about the current state of Kuwait’s economy, showing that optimism about the future of the economy is not sustained. 
  4. Tunisians are among the most optimistic across both quality of life and the economy, but especially about the future state of both, showcasing a higher optimism towards future outlooks compared to the rest of the region.
  5. Both youth and older generations of Lebanese citizens exhibit the lowest rates of optimism across both quality of life and economy, highlighting ongoing internal dissatisfactions towards the current and future state of the country. 
  6. Age alone is not enough: the intersection of age and gender is important in finding significant differences among MENA citizens about quality of life and the state of the economy.  
  7. Young women are more positive than older women as well as men in their age group, especially on questions about quality of life. This highlights a potential gendered socialization on future outlooks.  
  8. The youth in Sudan, both men and women, are more optimistic compared to older generations across both topics. Young Sudanese women are more positive than women ages 30+ on all issues, except for the future state of Sudan’s economy. Sudanese young men notably show positivity compared to older men, only on the future of their children’s lives and the future of the economy.
  9. In Mauritania, young people are more positive on questions covering quality of life. Young Mauritanian women are especially more optimistic than older age cohorts about life quality, at + 10 points higher than older women on their current life quality, and at + 23 points higher on the future of their children’s life quality. 

*These findings are based on Arab Barometer’s seventh wave of surveys that was conducted between 2021 and 2022.