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India Leads in Young People Wellbeing Index
Detail: MTV Network International (MTVNI) conducted a global survey to study wellbeing by focusing on the perceptions of young people themselves in different countries. The study involved 5,400 interviews with 8-15 year-olds and 16-34 year-olds in 14 countries. Young people were surveyed in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA. As part of the survey, MTVNI developed the Wellbeing Index to compare the perceived wellbeing of 16-34 year-olds in different parts of the world. The index is based on the perceptions of young people, how they feel about safety, where they fit in to their society and how they see their future.

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used including questionnaires, both online and telephone, face-to-face interviews and ethnographic immersions. MTVNI commissioned Synovate YC to conduct this global study. The MTVNI study findings show that young people in the developed world, who are materially wealthy are typically pessimistic about their futures, whereas young people in the developing world, despite facing greater challenges, are optimistic and hopeful.

Though there were some common trends amongst all global youth but the differences were greater than the similarities. One consistent finding across ages and in every country was the pressure on youth to succeed. Kids and young people worried about the same things as adults. More than half of 8-15 year-olds worried about getting a job. By comparison, only 34% were concerned about fitting in at school and only 25% worried about looking cool.

The country where young people had the greatest perceived sense of wellbeing was India, followed by Sweden with the USA coming third. The key findings are:

· children in developing countries were more positive about their future than those in developed nations.

· Young people in developing countries were at least twice as likely to feel happy as their counterparts in developed nations.

· Young people in the developing world were more religious, and there was a correlation between youth who were actively religious and happiness levels. Over half of 16-34 year-old Indonesians, Brazilians and Indians said they were religious, compared to one in four in the USA and one in 10 in Sweden and Germany.

· Terrorism came just eighth in the list of fears for 16-34 year-olds and tenth in the list of fears for 8-15 year-olds. Parents dying, cancer, AIDS, and robbery were greater fears for both age groups.

· Personal safety is a major issue for young people in the developing world.

· children from developing nations appear to be more patriotic.

· In 12 out of the 14 countries surveyed more than two thirds of 8-15 year-olds said that getting good grades in school was their top priority. While bullying happens everywhere, it is more of a problem in the developed world.

· New Digital technologies are changing young people’s friendship patterns and access to information
Date: November 21 2006