Today, there are 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, representing 16 per cent of the world`s population. By 2030 – the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which make up the 2030 Agenda – the number of young people is expected to increase by 7% to nearly 1.3 billion. The importance of focusing political attention on young adults has become increasingly evident. One of the objectives of this report is to consolidate information on these efforts and to encourage other federal organizations to undertake similar initiatives. The Committee`s work is part of a rich intellectual and scientific tradition of understanding and studying the evolution of trajectories over the course of life, as described below. In addition, several recent federal initiatives reflect emerging efforts to focus research and policy development on the diverse skills, vulnerabilities and needs of young adults (see Text box 1-2). This report aims to build on these efforts, with a particular focus on the health and well-being of young adults. Description. An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report on the state of science and policies relevant to the life course of young adults (approximately 18-26 years), as well as their transitions from adolescence (early (more…) The Committee faced several challenges in deciding how to comply with such a broad charge (see Box 1-1). First, the prosecution demanded a review of “prior art. relevant to the life course of young adults.” A wide-angle lens was needed to synthesize knowledge and draw broad conclusions about the health and well-being of the entire young adult population. We have attempted to achieve this in Chapter 2, which provides a general overview of the complex transition from adolescence to early adulthood.
At the same time, the prosecution called for concrete recommendations for action in the “policy and programmatic areas most likely” to influence the lives of young adults. To this end, we have exercised our collective discretion by selecting several areas that should be examined in depth later in the report. The vast majority of young people live in developing countries: According to the United Nations, about 85% of the world`s 15-24 year olds live in developing countries, and by 2025, this figure is expected to rise to 89.5%. Moreover, these majorities are extremely diverse: some live in rural areas, but many inhabit the crowded metropolises of India, Mongolia and other parts of Asia and South America, some traditionally live in tribal societies, while others participate in global youth culture in ghetto contexts.  For example, the data sources used in the Healthy People 2020 core indicators for adolescent and young adult health use the following age groups for young adults: 18-24, 18-21, 22-24, 20-24 and 21-24 (HHS, 2012). Many young people in developing countries are affected by poverty, some suffer from famine and lack of clean water, while involvement in armed conflict is common. Health problems are widespread, particularly because of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in some regions. The United Nations estimates that 200 million young people live in poverty, 130 million are illiterate and 10 million are living with HIV/AIDS.  The United Nations Programme on Youth of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which serves as the focal point for youth at the United Nations, raises awareness of the global situation of youth; promotes their rights and aspirations; and contributes to increasing their participation in decision-making as a means of achieving peace and development.
DESA coordinates the participation of youth delegates in the General Assembly and the ECOSOC system, in which governments regularly include youth in their official delegations. Learn more about the state of the world`s youth. In keeping with this change in social role, the normal retirement age is 66 in the United States and 65 in Canada, both gradually increasing to 67. In 2013, less than 5% of the population was over the age of 65, a figure that is expected to double by 2050. Although there is still no specific limit to the definition of age and it is different in each country, at the moment there is agreement that 65 is still a young age. The choice of tone and accent has been a constant theme in the Committee`s deliberations since the beginning of the study. It is inevitable that a policy-focused discussion about the health, safety and well-being of each population will tend to focus on the left end of the distribution (to young adults with higher needs) and the potential value of interventions, rather than those who are more successful and do not need interventions to stay on track. However, this tendency to focus on the negative has often been countered by reminders that the moment of early adulthood is also a time when even the most disadvantaged youth are resilient and many young people achieve remarkable results and demonstrate extraordinary capacity for creative insight and innovation. That said, this report tends to focus on areas where opportunities for a healthy productive future are now being wasted and where support and protection are most needed to help young adults lead healthy and productive lives and contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.
This report defines young adults as persons between the ages of approximately 18 and 26 and focuses on this age group. Recognizing the continuity of human development and the fact that some people take on tasks typical for “young adults” at slightly younger and slightly older ages, the report also takes into account transitions from adolescence (from about 16 years old) to full adulthood (up to about 30 years old). There are no definitive reasons to choose these specific limits and it will sometimes be useful to adjust the age period to take into account specific considerations in a particular policy context. However, in order to promote consistency in data analysis across all areas of research and policy, the Committee, after careful consideration, has reached the 18 to 26 age group. The choice of 18 as the lower limit of early adulthood is conventional from a societal perspective – it is the “age of majority”, the time when individuals are legally considered adults not only in this country, but also in many other countries around the world. The choice of 26 as the upper limit is less clear. From a biological and societal perspective, there is no convincing evidence of 26 versus 24, 25, 27 or 28. The selection of the 26 members is mainly based on social considerations. Based on the data reviewed in Chapter 2, section 26 (up to 27th birthday) indicates a time when a large proportion of young adults have completed some of the transitions typically associated with adulthood and become adults in society. Many current data sources use 24 as the upper bound,4 which seems to underestimate the length of this transition period for most young adults. In addition, it should be noted that the 26th birthday is the age used in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to mark the time when young adults are no longer covered by a parent`s health insurance – the most important policy to date to recognize the special needs of young adults during this transition period.
Education is a fundamental right for young people everywhere. Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. To achieve this, concerted efforts are needed to ensure that young women and men have access to free, equitable and quality education and targeted training opportunities. Recent statistics suggest that there are deep global inequalities in education, making universal secondary education a low aspiration for many, especially in the poorest countries. Ensuring access to inclusive and equitable quality education is crucial for a successful transition to the labour market and decent work, and is essential to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Quality primary and secondary education should be complemented by affordable technical, vocational and higher education that equips young people with the skills needed for employment and entrepreneurship. On 11 November 2020, the State Duma of the Russian Federation approved a project to raise the age limit for young people aged 30-35 (now the range is 14-35).  Globalisation and transnational flows have a significant impact on sexual relations, identities and subjectivities. As part of an increasingly globalized world order under diminishing Western domination, within the framework of ideologies of modernity, civilization and social betterment programs, discourses on population control, “safe sex” and “sexual rights.”  Evidence-based sexuality education programs are the cornerstone of reducing adolescent sexual risk behaviours and promoting sexual health. In addition to providing accurate information on the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancy, these programs strengthen life skills for interpersonal communication and decision-making. These programmes are most often implemented in schools that reach large numbers of young people in areas with high enrolment.
However, since not all young people go to school, sex education programmes have also been implemented in clinics, juvenile detention centres and youth-oriented community institutions.