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Summay of Social Indicators

One in every five Brazilians aged 15 to 29 neither studied nor worked in 2022

Section: Social Statistics | Vinícius Britto | Design: Brisa Gil

December 06, 2023 10h00 AM | Last Updated: December 11, 2023 05h08 PM

  • Highlights

  • Among youngsters aged 15 to 29 in the country, 10.9 million were neither studying nor employed in 2022, which is equivalent to 22.3%, or one in every five persons in this age group.
  • Among the 10.9 million youngsters who were neither studying nor employed, 43.3% were black or brown women, 24.3% were black or brown men, 20.1% were white women and 11.4% were white men .
  • In 2022, 4.7 million youngsters did not look for work or did not want to work. Among these, 2.0 million were women taking care of relatives and household chores.
  • Of the total of 10.9 million youngsters who do not study and are not employed, 61.2% were poor. Among these poor young people who were not studying or working, 47.8% were black or brown women.
  • Between 2019 and 2022, Brazil did not advance in the goal of universalizing early childhood education. School attendance of children aged 4 and 5 (at the beginning of compulsory basic education) fell 1.2 percentage points in the period, going from 92.7% to 91.5%.
  • School attendance at the appropriate stage for 6-year-old children, who should have entered primary school, fell from 81.8% in 2019 to 69.0% in 2022.
  • The percentage of children considered literate in the 2nd year of elementary school fell from 60.3% in 2019 to 43.6% in 2021.
  • The proportion of Brazilians aged 25 to 64 who have not completed compulsory basic education (41.5%) is more than twice as the average for OECD countries (20.1%).
Of the 10.9 million youngsters that neither studied nor worked in 2022, 43.3% were black or brown women - Photo: Freepik

The number of young people who were neither studying nor employed was 10.9 million in 2022, which corresponds to 22.3% of persons aged 15 to 29. Of the total, black or brown women represented 4.7 million (43.3%), while white women made up less than half of this amount: 2.2 million (20.1%). Another 2.7 million (24.3%) were black or brown men and 1.2 million (11.4%) were white men. The data comes from the Summary of Social Indicators, released today by the IBGE. Please, read other news about the study here, here or here.

The reduction in the number of youngsters neither studying nor employed was lower than that of the total number of youngsters and, because of this, the rate of young persons neither studying nor employed was not the lowest in the series. The lowest rates occurred in 2012 (21.8%) and 2013 (22.0%). The 2022 rate (22.3%) was the third lowest in the series.

“The indicator simultaneously includes young persons who were not studying and were unemployed, who were looking for a job and were available to work, and those who were not studying and were out of the workforce, that is, who did not try to find a job or did it but could not find it”, explains Denise Guichard, survey analyst.

The IBGE researcher adds that this indicator is a more accurate measure of youth vulnerability than the unemployment rate, as it covers those who were not gaining work experience or qualification, possibly compromising their future occupational possibilities.

Housework and caretaking for relatives keep young women out of the workforce

In 2022, 4.7 million young persons did not take any steps to find work and did not even want to work. The reasons are related to caretaking for relatives and household chores for 2.0 million women, while for 420 thousand men the reason stands out due to health problems. Both sexes also address studying on their own as one of the reasons for not wanting to work.

The number of young persons who want to work was 2.4 million, and for women, caretaking and household chores also stand out as the main reason for 553 thousand young persons, but the fact that there is no work in the locality affects both sexes, reaching more than 800 thousand young persons (356 thousand men and 484 thousand women).

47.8% of poor young persons out of school and of the job market are black or brown women

Of the total of 10.9 million young persons who do not study and are not employed, 61.2% were poor, with a per capita household income of less than US$6.85 per day, and 14.8% were extremely poor, with a per capita household income below US$2.15 per day, according to World Bank poverty lines. In the Northeast, 75.5% of young persons who did not study and were not employed were in poverty and 22.5% were in extreme poverty.

The condition of young black or brown persons stands out. Black or brown women represented 47.8% of poor young persons and 44.7% of extremely poor young persons, followed by black or brown men, of whom 33.3% were in poverty and 26.6% in extreme poverty.

Among black or brown men, 20.2% were extremely poor and 66.8% were poor. Among black or brown women, they were 15.3% and 67.7%, respectively, highlighting that they represented almost half of poor young persons outside the education system and the job market, 43.3%, totaling 4.7 millions of persons.

By level of schooling, among young persons out of school and of the labor market with incomplete primary education, 23.0% were extremely poor and 77.1% poor. Among those who had complete primary or incomplete secondary education, they were 19.1% and 72.5%, respectively.

Between 2019 and 2022, Brazil did not advance in the goal of universalizing early childhood education

Data from the Continuous PNAD annual education module indicate that, from 2019 to 2022, the only age group that maintained its school attendance on a upward trend was those aged 15 to 17, rising from 89.0% to 92.2%, but still below universalization, as recommended in Goal 3 of the Plano Nacional de Educação (National Education Plan - PNE).

Access to daycare for children aged 0 to 3 years remained statistically stable between 2019 and 2022 (ranging from 35.5% to 36.0%), interrupting the expansion in the coverage of educational provision for this age group, which had been seen in the period prior to 2019.

School attendance in the 4 and 5-year-old group, at the beginning of mandatory basic education, fell by 1.2 percentage points between 2019 and 2022, going from 92.7% to 91.5%.

“These results indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the guarantee of access to school. This loss has not yet been reversed in 2022, more than two years after the first cases of Covid in Brazil”, claims Betina Fresneda, survey analyst.

As a consequence, the country did not make progress in meeting target 1 of the PNE for early childhood education between 2019 and 2022, which establishes as an objective, to be achieved by 2024, the universalization of early childhood education in pre-school for children aged 4 to 5 years of age and of daycare for at least 50% of children up to 3 years old.

Between 2019 and 2022, the declines in school attendance of children aged 4 to 5 were concentrated in the North (from 86.1% to 82.8%) and in the Northeast (from 95.6% to 93.6%). The percentages in the other Major Regions did not vary significantly.

From 2019 to 2022, school delay increased and children's literacy decreased

The upward trend for school delays in the beginning of primary education after the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic was also observed based on data from the INEP Basic Education Census. Therefore, there was an increase in the age-grade distortion rate in the 1st year of primary school from 2.8% to 4.0% across the country from 2019 to 2022.

This indicator refers to the academic delay of children aged 7 or over, who should not be in the 1st year of primary school, but in the 2nd year or above, either because they repeated the 1st year, or because they entered primary school at an older age.

In 2022, the biggest increases in this age-grade distortion of students in the 1st year of primary school occurred in the North (5.7%), Northeast (5.8%) and Central-West (3.8%).

The worsening of academic delay in the 1st year was greater among children who studied in urban areas (from 2.6% to 3.9%) and in private schools (2.8% to 5.2%) and state schools (from 2.3% to 4.3%). There was no increase in the age-grade distortion rate in the 1st year of primary school in rural areas or in the federal schools’ network (from 2.8% to 1.9%).

“An expected consequence of the delay in school admittance, from 2019 onwards, was the worsening of literacy results. The percentage of children considered literate in the 2nd year of primary school fell from 60.3% in 2019 to 43.6% in 2021, according to results from the Basic Education Assessment System”, analyzes Ms. Fresneda.

Two in five Brazilians aged 25 to 64 have not completed compulsory basic education

The proportion, in Brazil, of 41.5% of persons aged 25 to 64 who had not completed compulsory basic education in 2022, that is, secondary education, is more than double that proportion for the same age group in average of OECD countries in 2021 (20.1%), published in the report Education at a glance 2022: OECD indicators.

This result places Brazil with a percentage of persons without secondary education above Latin American countries such as Colombia (37.9%), Argentina (33.5%) and Chile (28.0%). If we limit the comparison to the youngest age group, from 25 to 34 years old, Brazil continues, in 2022, with a percentage twice as high as the average for OECD countries in 2021, that is, 28.6% for Brazil compared to 14.2% for the OECD average.

The historical delay in the expansion of the Brazilian education system is also reflected in the low percentage of persons aged 25 to 64 who completed higher education. While the average for OECD countries in 2021 was 41.1%, the Brazilian average, in 2022, was around half the OECD average: 20.7%.

Even though the youngest age group of 25 to 34 years of age reached a higher percentage of persons with higher education in Brazil, with 23.4% in 2022, the result of the national effort to expand access to this level remained half of the average published for OECD countries in 2021 in the same age group: 46.9%. The Brazilian percentage (23.4%) was below Latin American countries such as: Mexico (27.1%), Colombia (30.5%) and Chile (40.5%).

More about the survey  

The Summary of Social Indicators: an analysis of the living conditions of the Brazilian population in 2023 aims to systematize and present a set of information related to the social reality of the country, based on structural topics of great relevance for the construction of a comprehensive framework on the living conditions of the Brazilian population.

This edition features indicators on economic structure and labor market, standard of living and income distribution; housing conditions and education. The analyses by population groups draw attention to earnings inequality, gender, color or race, age groups, urban or rural housing units and household arrangements, showing the evolution of indicators in the time series. The information presented refers to Major Regions, Federation Units and, for some indicators, capital municipalities.



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