Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET)
Last updated 3 August 2021 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate to By ethnicity section
- 4. Navigate to By ethnicity and sex section
- 5. Navigate to By ethnicity and economic activity section
- 6. Navigate to By ethnicity, sex and economic activity section
- 7. Navigate toData sources section
- 8. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
This page will not be updated with 2020 data. This is because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reweighting the data we use for this page, to account for the effects of population changes and COVID-19 on labour market statistics.
- in the 3 years from 2017 to 2019, an average of 11.5% of young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK were not in employment, education, or training (NEET)
- young people in the Chinese (4.5%) and Indian (7.3%) ethnic groups were less likely than the UK average to be NEET
- young people in the Pakistani ethnic group were more likely to be NEET (14.3%) than those in the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups
- young people were more likely to be NEET and economically inactive (6.9%) than NEET and unemployed (4.6%) – the figures for White young people were similar to the UK average, at 7.0% and 4.6%
- among White young people, women were more likely to be NEET and economically inactive (8.6%) than men (5.6%) – but men were more likely to be NEET and unemployed (5.5%) than women (3.7%)
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the percentage of young people (aged 16 to 24) who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) at the time they were surveyed.
A person is NEET if they are not:
- taking an education course or waiting for term to start
- taking an apprenticeship
- taking a government-supported employment or training programme
- working or studying towards a qualification
- taking job-related training or education in the last 4 weeks
- working as an employee or self-employed person
- taking a temporary break from work – for example, a holiday
- doing unpaid family work – for example, working in a family business
Someone who is NEET can be either:
- unemployed and looking for work
- economically inactive – not actively looking for work in the 4 weeks before being surveyed, not waiting to start a job, or caring for family
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point.
Not included in the data
The data does not show how long young people were NEET, or if their status changed after they were surveyed.
The data does not include estimates based on fewer than 15 respondents for data covering all ethnic groups together. This is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to make reliable generalisations.
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.
Data is aggregated for the Black, Mixed, White and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because of the different ways ethnicity data is collected in different parts of the UK.
Read the detailed methodology document for this data.
The data is an average for the 3 years from 2017 to 2019. This is to make sure there are enough people to be able to make reliable generalisations. You can read more about combining multiple years of data and some of the issues involved.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Only figures which are statistically significant have been commented on. Find out more about:
- interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed
- how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole group being studied
In the data file
3. By ethnicity
Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity and sex
Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity and sex Summary
5. By ethnicity and economic activity
Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity and economic activity Summary
6. By ethnicity, sex and economic activity
|Ethnicity||Male Unemployed (%)||Male Inactive (%)||Female Unemployed (%)||Female Inactive (%)|
Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity, sex and economic activity Summary
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between Censuses.
8. Download the data
This file contains the following: measure, time, time_type, geography, age, employment status, sex, value, value_type, upper 95% C.I. and lower 95% C.I.