Youth in India 2022


The Youth in India 2022 report was published by the National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, on June 29, 2022. This is the fourth issue in the series. The report defines ‘youth’ as all citizens aged between 15 and 29 years. It highlights aspects of this demographic through socio-economic indicators including distribution by sex and marital status, age-specific mortality rates, incidence of anaemia, education levels, enrolment and gender parity in higher education and more.

Official data sources used in this report include the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The 185-page report is divided into four sections: Overview (Section 1); Policies and Programmes for Development of Youth (Section 2); Statistical Profile of Youth (Section 3); and Statistical Annex (Section 4). The statistical annex is the longest section of the report, comprising detailed statistical data concerning the youth in India.


  1. India, with its population of 1.3 billion people, is the world’s second-most populous country. With an average age of 29 years, it also has one of the world’s youngest populations, the report states.

  2. According to a report by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, Government of India, the youth (aged 15–29 years) comprise 27.2 per cent of the country’s overall population in 2021. This share is expected to decline to 22.7 per cent by 2036. Even then, the youth population in numbers is projected to be large – around 345 million.

  3. In most states in India, the proportion of the youth population reached its highest point in 2011 before starting to fall. However, in Kerela, the youth population reached its peak in 1991 and is expected to decrease by 11 percentage points by 2036 – from 30.2 per cent to 19.2 per cent.

  4. The report cites the All India Survey on Higher Education to note that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has increased steadily over the years. It has risen from 20.8 per cent (2011-12) and 24.5 per cent (2015-16) to 27.1 per cent in 2019-20. In 2019-20, the GER for females (27.3 per cent) was higher compared to that for males (26.9 per cent).

  5. The unemployment rate among those aged 15-29 years decreased from 17.8 per cent in 2017–18 to 12.9 per cent in 2020–21.

  6. Citing data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the report notes that the number of girls married by the age of 15 years in India is on the decline. As per NFHS-5 (2019-21), among girls aged 15-19 years, 1.7 per cent had married by the age of 15 years. This was lower than the 11.9 per cent recorded in NFHS-3 (2005-06).

  7. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) among women aged 15-29 years has declined from 5.2 children per women in 1971 to 2.1 children in 2019. The TFR in urban areas (1.7 children) is lower as compared to that in rural areas (2.3 children), the report adds.

  8. The adolescent mortality rates in India for the age group 15-19 years have declined from 2.4 deaths per 1,000 population in 1971 to 0.7 deaths in 2019. The mortality rate for those aged 20-24 years was 1 death per 1,000 population and for those aged 25-29 years it was 1.2 deaths per 1,000 population.

  9. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) measures the share of labour force within a population. The participation of the youth in the labour force was at 38.2 per cent during 2017–18. This rose slightly to 41.4 per cent during 2020–21. The report also states that the participation of young women in the labour force is far lower than that of young men.

  10. In 2020-21, among persons aged 15-29 years, 5.85 per cent were ‘not literate’ and 11.1 per cent were ‘literate upto primary’. Around 58.29 per cent of people in the age group had education till secondary schooling or beyond, the report states. At 87.94 per cent, Kerala had the highest percentage of persons (between 15 and 29 years of age) with secondary level education or more.

  11. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) measures men and women’s relative access to education – “a GPI of less than 1 suggests girls are more disadvantaged than boys in learning opportunities and a GPI of greater than 1 suggests the other way around.” The GPI at the higher secondary level rose from 0.92 in 2011-12 to 1.03 in 2020-21.

    Focus and Factoids by Ashish Singh.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


29 Jun, 2022