#YouthStats: Health

Adolescent Health

  • More than 2.6 million young people aged 10 to 24 die each year in the world, mostly due to preventable causes.
    [WHO, Fact Sheet on Adolescent health, 2015, http://goo.gl/l6L4CM]
  • Road traffic injuries cause an estimated 330 young people to die every day. [WHO, Fact Sheet on Adolescent health, 2015, http://goo.gl/l6L4CM]
  • Over-nutrition represents a big issue in the Pacific island countries, where the prevalence of overweight adolescents can be as high as 50%. [WHO, Fact Sheet on Adolescent health, 2015, http://goo.gl/l6L4CM]
  • Globally, 81% of adolescents aged 11–17 years were insufficiently physically active in 2010. Adolescent girls were less active than adolescent boys, with 84% versus 78% not meeting the WHO recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. [WHO, 2014, http://bit.ly/1EhxrAS]
  • Worldwide, 7% of all deaths of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are attributable to alcohol use.  [WHO, 2014, http://bit.ly/1gv6Cwt]
  • One out of 2 young people who start and continue to smoke will be killed by tobacco-related illness. [WHO, 2014, http://bit.ly/1qpV332]
  • In any given year, about 20% of adolescents will experience a mental health problem, most commonly depression or anxiety. [WHO, Fact Sheet on Adolescent health, 2015, http://goo.gl/l6L4CM]



Reproductive Health

  • Young women who are educated are better able to delay childbearing and to ensure the health and education of their children. [UNFPA & UNICEF, Co‐Chairs of the United Nations Adolescent Girls Task Force, 2011, http://bit.ly/R7ATei]
  • Inadequate facilities at schools force millions of girls around the world to miss class during menstruation. It’s estimated that more than half of schools in low-income countries lack sufficient toilets for girls or are unsafe and unclean. [UNGEI, 2014,http://bit.ly/1NbHn2H]
  • Half or more of 15 year olds who are sexually active report using condoms the last time they had sex.  [WHO, 2014, http://bit.ly/1Rr2Sh7]
  • Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death amongst adolescent girls aged between 15 and 19 in low-income countries.  [UNAIDS, All In, 2015, p.9, http://goo.gl/xSCwD3]
  • Complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth are the second  leading cause of death for 15-19 year-old girls globally. [WHO, 2014, http://bit.ly/1Rr2Sh7]
  • Every year, some 3 million 15-19 year-old girls in this age bracket resort to unsafe abortions, risking their lives and health. [UNFPA, 2014, http://bit.ly/1pPWK4A]
  • This resulted in some 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 years giving birth– roughly 11 per cent of all births worldwide, noting that the vast majority of adolescents’ births occur in developing countries.  [WHO Fact sheet on adolescent health, 2015, http://goo.gl/YNbRZr]
  • Adolescent birth rates remain particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa, where 1 in 9 adolescent girls have a baby. [UNSD, The World’s Women 2015 –At a glance, 2015, http://goo.gl/oHHXNm]
  • Globally the adolescent birth rate stands at 46.2, whereas for Least Developed Countries this number is estimated to be more than double at 96.9. [UN DESA, Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, DVD Edition (2010-2015)]


  • In Africa, Malaria continues to be a leading cause of absenteeism for children in schools. [Roll Back Malaria, http://bit.ly/1BKwFA3]
  • Young people aged from 15 to 24 accounted for an estimated 40 per cent of all new HIV infections among adults worldwide in 2011.  [WHO Fact sheet on adolescent health, 2015,  http://goo.gl/8EnGrf]
  • There are almost 380 000 [340 000–440 000] new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women aged 10–24 years old around the world every year.  [UNAIDS, Gap Report 2014, p.20, http://goo.gl/GCHtpt]
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women acquire HIV infection at least 5–7 years earlier than men. Young women 15–24 years old in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV.  [UNAIDS, Gap Report 2014, p.20, http://goo.gl/4pcavh]
  • AIDS is the second most common cause of death among adolescents globally, and the leading cause of death among adolescents (10-19) in Africa [UNAIDS, All In, 2015, http://goo.gl/pv9SU8]
  • If young women and adolescent girls had the means to protect themselves, the picture of the AIDS epidemic in Africa would look different. [UNAIDS, Gap Report 2014, p.20, http://goo.gl/xKRwkK]

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