|15 to 24 yrs||25 yrs or older|
|Contact with friends||95.9||73.7|
|Contact with family||79.2||84.1|
|Active in associations||55.6||42.0|
|Contact with neighbours||50.0||64.1|
To what extent do young people participate in society? Methods used by CBS to determine this include participation at two different levels: social contacts and societal activities. The survey shows that over half of all 15 to 24-year-olds (51 percent) engage in societal activities as a volunteer at least once a year, with equal shares among young men and women. Overall, there are relatively more young people than adults who do volunteer work (49 percent).
At 56 percent, a clear majority of the youth are active in associations. More young men than women participate in associations, at 60 and 51 percent respectively. In all other age groups, a minority are active in associations.
Youngest group most active as volunteers
Teenagers between the ages of 15 to 17 are overrepresented in volunteer work: just under 60 percent volunteer for an organisation at least once a year. In other age groups, this percentage stands at 49 percent (18 to 21-year-olds) and 47 percent (22 to 24-year-olds).
Being active in an association clearly declines as youngsters grow up. While 64 percent of 15 to 17-year-olds still take part in activities at least once a month, this percentage is lower among 18 to 21-year-olds and 22 to 24-year-olds.
|15 to 17 yrs||18 to 21 yrs||22 to 24 yrs|
|Contact with friends||98.0||96.3||93.4|
|Contact with family||75.3||77.5||85.0|
|Active in associations||63.6||55.4||48.6|
|Contact with neighbours||55.3||49.5||45.8|
Close contact with friends, less close with neighbours
Almost all 15 to 24-year-olds (96 percent) are in contact with a friend or acquaintance at least once a week. Furthermore, 79 percent have weekly contact with a family member outside their own household and half say they have weekly contact with their neighbours. Three in ten young people provide help to people outside their households at least once every four weeks.
Young women are less likely than young men to have weekly contact with a family member, but there is no difference in terms of contact with friends and neighbours. However, there are relatively more young women who provide help than young men.
Social contacts among the three youngest age groups
Between the youngest age groups, there is a difference in the level of social participation. On the one hand, contact with family members increases as the age group is older: 75 percent of 15 to 17-year-olds, 77 percent of 18 to 21-year-olds, and 85 percent of 22 to 24-year-olds. On the other hand, there is a slight decline in contact with friends as young people age: 98, 96 and 93 percent respectively.
At 55 percent, there is only a majority in the youngest age group (15 to 17 years) who speak with their neighbours on a weekly basis. This is 49 percent in the group 18 to 21 years and 46 percent among 22 to 24-year-olds. At over one-quarter, the youngest of the three age groups provide less informal help than both other age groups.