BOSTON — Alberto Vazquez, 24, watches idly from his small coastal Spanish town as the days go by. He surfs and plays online poker to pass the time. Loveday Ijomanta, 26, graduated from the University of Abuja with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2011. Three years later, he still can’t find work. Michel Oliveira, 23, sells a smorgasbord of knick-knacks on the streets of Rio de Janiero. But as construction ramps up in preparation for the World Cup, his business is on the decline.
These are just a few of the faces of ‘Generation TBD,’ or 'to be determined.' By one count more than 350 million young men and women around the world are neither in school nor employed, with uncertain futures ahead. As part of a GroundTruth fellowship, 21 young journalists are going around the world to report on what these staggering statistics mean for Albertos, Lovedays and Michels around the world, and for the countries they live in.
The numbers are uncanny: Young people comprise 17 percent of the world’s population, and 40 percent of the world’s unemployed. The global unemployment rate for people ages 15-24 is 12.6 percent — nearly three times that for people older than 24.
To break the numbers down further, here are the countries with the world’s highest and lowest youth unemployment rates:
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