Britain 'fourth best place to be a young person'

Britain is the fourth best country in the world to be a young person.

A new study looked at the prospects of young people in employment, health and political spheres and examined literacy, mental disorder rates, financial inclusion and voter engagement.

The results, compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat, highlighted a growing divide in life chances for people aged 15-29 between the West and developing world.

While Britain scored fourth place over-all, it ranked 39 for youth health and well-being

Countries like Romania, Albania, and Mexico ranked higher than Britain in that category.

Germany ranked second in the global youth index Credit: PA

Overall, Germany topped the table, with Denmark and Australia in second and third respectively - and Ireland in 15.

The USA was ranked 23.

At the other end of the spectrum, young people in the Central African Republic had the poorest life chances of the 183 countries surveyed.

The index showed that the 10 lowest-ranked countries were all from Sub-Saharan Africa, but the region also recorded the largest improvement in the last five years.

With the world's youth population at an all time high of 1.8 billion people, the Commonwealth warned that investment was urgently needed to boost the life chances for this age group in developing countries.

The report stated that the prospects for the emergence of a Generation Hope was being threatened by widespread joblessness, unequal access to health and education, and lack of political influence.

The Central African Republican ranked last Credit: PA

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: "The index throws down a challenge to policy-makers everywhere: without action to promote young people's empowerment, boosting opportunities for employment and opening up spaces for political dialogue, countries will be squandering their most precious resource and storing up problems for the future.

"The adolescents and young adults who make up Generation Hope have huge aspirations and enormous capabilities, but too often they face barriers in realising their potential as productive citizens.

"To make good on the promise and dreams of this generation and to forge a brighter future for all, we need to invest in young people's health, education, digital skills and offer meaningful opportunities for employment, participation and individual fulfilment".