On the occasion of Youth Day, the Youth Council of Romania, PONT Group, the Youth Federation of Cluj and the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), as members of the Governance of the “Youth Capital of Romania” Program, presented the study “Young people after the pandemic: Happy Cities” and “Young people at home” analysis.
They highlight the effects of the pandemic regarding the satisfaction young people feel in their cities, the expectations they have about the cities in which they live and the challenges they face in finding and affording a suitable home for their needs. All the data collected during the studies will serve as a starting point in putting together a concrete action plan, in order to have young people satisfied with the opportunities offered by their cities.
The “Happy Cities” study was conducted on a sample of over 5,000 young people, aged between 15 and 29 years, from the seven youth capitals in Romania: Cluj-Napoca, Târgu Jiu, Timișoara, Bacău, Constanța, Baia Mare and Iași. The survey measured some of the essential aspects of young people’s lives: how happy are they, in what degree they feel safe in the city in which they live, and what are the things that can be improved. The survey also looked at identifying the changes experienced by young people during the pandemic and how cities have contributed to their mood:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, the average happiness level of young people in Romania is 6.69.
- On average, young respondents score 5.99/10 for the level of happiness in their cities; the degree of safety felt is above average (6.63/10), and for proactivity the cities received an average score of 6.25/10;
- The highest level of happiness of young people is recorded in Iasi, the lowest in Constanta;
- Cluj-Napoca is perceived as the cleanest and most united city, and Iasi is perceived as the most accessible;
- 6 out of 10 young people believe that their cities have adapted effectively to the pandemic context;
- 2 out of 6 young people would like to get involved in volunteering in the future to help develop their city.
“Through the “Happy City” study, we wanted to find out what is the situation of young people in Romania, so that we have a clear starting point in setting the objectives for an action plan. The “Youth Capital of Romania” program aims to create urban areas that offer development opportunities among young people by increasing well-being, living in an urban space according to their needs and offering future prospects for their harmonious development. This program can become the most effective tool to mobilize existing local resources for a better economic and social development based on the real needs and objectives of young people and enrollment can be done until June 2nd, 2022.”, said András Farkas, Co-Founder and Strategic Director of the PONT Group.
“Through the “Youth Capital of Romania” Program, we are extremely connected to the needs and desires of young people. We have already revealed many areas in which solutions are needed for young people to be satisfied with the cities in which they live and their lives. We set out to find solutions and build their lives, together with help from local authorities and civil society to increase the standard of living, and implicitly, the level of happiness that young people feel”, said Nicoleta Deliu, BCR Communication Director.
The possibility of purchasing your own home is a very important topic, directly correlated with the degree of satisfaction felt by young people. Thus, the Romanian Youth Council conducted the analysis “Young people at home”, a research that addresses the main challenges regarding the way in which young people live or can get a suitable home for their needs:
- The majority of young people aged 18-34 live with their parents (57.8%, compared to 49.4% on average in the EU-27, according to Eurostat), often forced, finding no other sustainable housing solutions, with the average age at which they leave parental housing being 27.9 years;
- 4% of young people between 15-29 years old in Romania live in households that use more than 40% of their income for housing expenses according to Eurostat data from 2020, these falling into the phenomenon suggestively called the Burden of housing cost;
- 7% of young people between 15-29 years old in Romania live in overcrowded households, compared to 27.5% of the European Union average;
- 9% of young people between 15-29 years old in Romania suffer from lack or severe precariousness of housing, compared to 6.5% of the European Union average:
- The cost of renting increased by 10.1% from 2015 to 2020. An average rent for a studio apartment in Bucharest or Cluj represents 87.3% of the net minimum wage, and the rent for a two-room apartment, 129.66% of the net minimum wage.
“While 96% of the Romanian population lives in personally owned housing, young people face a shortage of available housing at affordable prices. Unfortunately, the possibility of young people owning their own home is delayed by the lack of diversity of options. Housing is one of the determining factors for the major decisions of young people, among which I mention: moving out of the parental home, starting a family, choosing the moment to have children or choosing the city in which to live. Stability and safety are not only the wishes of young people, but basic needs that must be addressed with priority”, declared Gabriel Carnariu, president of the Romanian Youth Council.