The European Commission has published its 4th Flash Eurobarometer on “European Youth”. The report aims to analyse the answers given by 10 927 respondents aged 15-30. The survey is designed to collect information on young EU citizens regarding their social involvement. Among other questions, their participation in voluntary activities is addressed.
More than half of the respondents (53%) are involved in at least one organisation and the most popular activities are in a sports clubs (29%). In spite of the overall increased of youth participation in organisations, the Eurobarometer revealed the constant rate of participation in sports club compared with the previous survey (December 2014). The important decrease in young EU citizens’ participation in sports clubs (-6pp) between April 2013 and December 2014 seems over. Social inequalities appears in this report underlying the difference between gender : Men are more likely to have participated in sports club activities than Women (36% vs 23%). Differences also appear between states since participation in sports clubs is more likely for EU citizens in Ireland (42%), Germany (40%) and the Netherlands (39%) compared to 10% of respondents in Hungary. In Italy (+14pp) and Bulgaria (+11pp), 15-30 year-olds are now more more likely to say they have participated in sports club activities compared to December 2014, whereas those in Malta (-17 pp) and the United Kingdom (-13 pp) are now less likely to do so.
In addition, the report points out differences concerning the participation in sports clubs activities, according to the level of education : falling to 19% of those who ended education at the age of 15 or under from 29% of those who ended education at the age of 20 or over. Also, respondents who are still studying are the most likely to get involved in sports clubs, particularly compared to those who are not working (35% vs 14%).
The report shows the impact of social inequalities on the citizens’ involvement in an organisation. Those social differences are particularly relevant in sport, for example the largest differences based on gender or on education are observed for sports. Looking at voluntary activities, 31% of young people in the EU say that they have been involved in an organised voluntary activity in the past 12 months (+6pp compared to 2014). Socio-demographic analysis shows again that higher education is a relevant factor (29% of people who finished their education at the age of 20 or over compared to 25% of those who ended education at the age of 16-19 and 12% ending at the age of 15 or under).
Furthermore, information was asked regarding recognition of voluntary activities, with 28% of voluntarily active young people receiving formal recognition through diplomas or certificates.