Reducing the number of NEETs was an explicit policy objective of the EU Youth guarantee aiming to ensure that all young people receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. 

The indicator below is the NEET rate, defined as the share of 15- to 29-year-olds not in employment, education, or training. Young people are NEET, if they are not employed and if they have not received any education or training in the four weeks preceding the European labour force survey. In the post 2020 policy cycle, this has become a target indicator for monitoring progress.  

NEET rate for 15- to 29-year-olds (%)


Source: Eurostat, EU Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Key points

In 2020, the EU average NEET rate was 13.7%. It was the highest in Italy at 23.3% followed by Greece (24.1%). Lowest values were for the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovenia, Malta and Austria (all with NEET rates at 10% or below, data for Germany flagged as provisional). Despite of a slight increase in 2020, between 2015 and 2020, the EU average NEET rate dropped from 15.2% to 13.7% in the whole period; it decreased in most countries. A break in time series for data for 2020 for Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Poland, and Sweden means that they cannot be reliably compared with data for 2015. Among non-EU countries, Turkey recorded NEET the highest NEETs rate (32%), while Iceland, Norway and Switzerland had rates below 10%.

Table 23. NEET rate for 15- to 29-year-olds (%) 


Source: Eurostat, EU Labour Force Survey (LFS). Notes: (b) ‘break in time series’; (p) ‘provisional’; data are not presented when they are not available and/or do not support sufficiently reliable comparisons across countries or over time.

Data insights details

Related Theme