Sunday, November 25, 2012

El Salvador's "Ninis"

There is an interesting article on the Fox News Latino website titled Ninis - A Generation that Neither Works, Nor Studies in El Salvador.  The article discusses the situation of youth with nothing to do:

In various Latin American countries, they call them "ninis" (pronounced nee-nees.) The Spanish word "ni" means "neither" and they are called "neither neithers" because they are young people who "neither work, neither study" at school or university - or in Spanish "Ni trabaja, ni estudia."  This generation in the small Central American country of El Salvador is attracting attention and causing concern. 
Costa Rica's State of the Region in Sustainable Human Development Program, in coordination with El Salvador's Studies for the Application of Law Foundation (FESPAD), found that ninis between the ages of 15 and 25, can be either gender, with 40% being female and 60% being male. The total number of ninis in El Salvador is estimated to be 241,000 and they account for 20% of the entire population. 
Ninis are often perceived as being lazy and ambitionless, but according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) many have tried and failed to find employment or have left poor working conditions. In a country rife with violent gangs who actively recruit, unemployed youth is cause for alarm.
Read more.

I will point out one mistake in the article.  241,000 "ninis" would not be 20% of El Salvador's population of 6.2 million, but it might be 20% of the population between age 15 and 25.   Regardless, it is still a large number and points out one of El Salvador's big challenges.   How do you create a path of opportunity for young people?

3 comments:

Cathy Howell said...

This term is used in other countries as well. Spain's government even uses it - since 50% of young people there are unemployed. This is a worldwide problem. Here's a link to an article about Spain. http://www.culturespain.com/tag/ni-ni/

Sean said...

Seems like Fox News Latino misses the point on this article. In one sentence it mentions that many ¨ninis¨ have tried and failed to get a job. Isn´t that the issue? The fact that there is very little opportunity for work in El Salvador, something that can help explain the huge amounts of immigration to the United States from El Salvador. Not really sure the point of mentioning that there is this big group of people with nothing to do while adding zero context. Tim, you´re right to point out the odd mistake claiming that ninis are 20% of the population. Very sloppy reporting there.
Keep up the excellent blog!

Lillie Langtry said...

Britain uses the term "NEETs" (Not in Education, Employment or Training).