Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET)

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • 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.

Methodology

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:

In the data file

See Download the data for confidence intervals for each ethnic group. Find out more about how confidence intervals are used to determine how reliable estimates are.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage of young people (aged 16 to 24) who were not in employment, education or training by ethnicity
Ethnicity %
All 11.5
Bangladeshi 12.0
Chinese 4.5
Indian 7.3
Pakistani 14.3
Asian other 11.3
Black 11.5
Mixed 11.0
White 11.7
Other 9.6

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that:

  • in the 3 years from 2017 to 2019, an average of 11.5% of young people aged 16 to 24 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
  • there were no other reliable differences compared with the UK average
  • young people in the Pakistani ethnic group were more likely to be NEET (14.3%) than those in the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups

4. By ethnicity and sex

Percentage of young people (aged 16 to 24) who were not in employment, education or training by ethnicity and sex
Ethnicity Male Female
% %
All 11.0 12.1
Bangladeshi 11.3 12.7
Chinese 3.6 5.2
Indian 6.7 7.9
Pakistani 13.4 15.3
Asian other 8.0 15.0
Black 12.5 10.5
Mixed 12.1 9.9
White 11.0 12.3
Other 8.9 10.4

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV)

Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity and sex Summary

The data shows that:

  • 11.0% of young men (aged 16 to 24) and 12.1% of young women were not in employment, education, or training (NEET)
  • among White young people, women (12.3%) were more likely to be NEET than men (11.0%)
  • although the data shows differences between men and women in other ethnic groups, not enough people were surveyed to be able to make reliable generalisations
  • young women from the Chinese ethnic group were less likely to be NEET (5.2%) than young women from the Pakistani (15.3%) and White (12.3%) ethnic groups
  • young men from the Indian (6.7%) and Chinese (3.6%) ethnic groups were less likely to be NEET than the UK average for men

5. By ethnicity and economic activity

Percentage of young people (aged 16 to 24) who were not in employment, education or training by ethnicity and economic activity
Ethnicity Unemployed Inactive
% %
All 4.6 6.9
Bangladeshi 6.2 5.8
Chinese 2.0 2.5
Indian 3.7 3.5
Pakistani 5.5 8.8
Asian other 4.7 6.6
Black 5.5 6.0
Mixed 4.3 6.7
White 4.6 7.0
Other 2.3 7.4

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and economic activity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and economic activity’ (CSV)

Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity and economic activity Summary

Young people who are NEET are divided into those who are actively seeking employment (‘unemployed’) and those who are not (‘economically inactive’).

The data shows that:

  • on average, 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%
  • young people from the Chinese (2.5%) and Indian (3.5%) ethnic groups were less likely to be NEET and economically inactive than the UK average

6. By ethnicity, sex and economic activity

Percentage of young people (aged 16 to 24) who were not in employment, education or training by ethnicity, sex and economic activity
Male Female
Ethnicity Male Unemployed (%) Male Inactive (%) Female Unemployed (%) Female Inactive (%)
All 5.4 5.5 3.8 8.4
Bangladeshi 7.7 3.6 4.8 7.9
Chinese 2.8 0.8 1.3 3.9
Indian 3.9 2.8 3.5 4.3
Pakistani 6.5 6.9 4.5 10.8
Asian other 3.7 4.2 5.8 9.2
Black 5.8 6.7 5.2 5.3
Mixed 5.8 6.2 2.6 7.3
White 5.5 5.6 3.7 8.6
Other 2.9 6.0 1.6 8.8

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity, sex and economic activity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity, sex and economic activity’ (CSV)

Summary of Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) By ethnicity, sex and economic activity Summary

The data shows that:

  • young women were less likely to be NEET and unemployed (3.8%) than NEET and economically inactive (8.4%)
  • 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%)
  • although the table shows differences between young men and women in other ethnic groups, not enough people were surveyed to be able to make reliable generalisations

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

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
  • education
  • health

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

Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) - Spreadsheet (csv) 28 KB

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.