“Survey profiles Icelandic youth,” Icelandic Review , 9 December 2005
(Download this review as a PDF)
A new report on Icelandic high school students by the the research firm Rannsókn og greining shows that students now own more gadgets, read more and plan to go to university in greater numbers than before, reports Morgunbladid.
According to the report, nearly all high school students own a cellular telephone, 98% compared to 89% in 2000. 75% of the students own a TV, a 16% increase from 2000; 48% own a game console or computer games; 35% own a lap top computer; 40% own a desk top computer; and one third of the students have their own Internet connection.
The survey also shows that the students are reading more. In 2000, 26.7% of high school boys said that they spent more than two hours per week reading books other than school books; that figure increased to 31.2% in 2004. The same figure for girls increased from 30.5% in 2000 to 38.3% in 2004.
In 2000, most of the high school students did not plan to go to university, but in 2004, 63.3% of high school girls said that they plan on going to university; 58.4% of high school boys plan to continue their studies. These figures are up 24% from 2000 when 39.5% of the girls said it was likely that they go to university and 34.1% of the boys.
According to the report there was quite a difference as to where the students get their pocket money. Boys usually received money from summer jobs while girls were more likely to work during the school year. Almost 54% of high school girls work while studying compared to 36% of the boys. One fourth of the students said that they received pocket money from their parents.
10% of high school students in the Greater Reykjavík area work more than 20 hours per week, compared to 12% of the students in the countryside. About 19% of girls and 27% of boys in the Greater Reykjavík area work 10 - 19 hours a week.
The report finds that boys often find schoolwork easier than girls even though their results are substantially worse than the results of the high school girls.
The study was based on surveys in 29 high schools in October 2004. The response rate was 81%, 11,000 students.
Today's Morgunbladid also reports of 1,106 unsuccessful [bank] repossessions this years from individuals aged 15 to 30. In 2001, 864 unsuccessful attempts to repossess occurred in the same age.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION & DISCUSSION
1. Why should people from other countries be interested in Icelandic youth?
2. Are Icelandic youth feeling closer to other youth cultures today than in previous years?
3. What appears to be some of the interests and needs of Icelandic youth from this brief article?
4. How do you see boys differing from girls according to this story?
5. What might youth ministry look like in Iceland?
1. The more there is some sense of relationship among the youth of our world, the better off we may be.
2. The same applies to youth leaders and professors of youth ministry. We have much to gain from one another’s experience and insights.
3. Youth may need to play an even greater part in bringing justice and peace to our world.
Don Walls and Dean Borgman cCYS