According to the Arab Youth Survey 2017, published by ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller this week, 35 percent of young people in the Arab world picked Facebook as their main daily news source.
YouTube is viewed daily by 50 percent of young Arabs, while Instagram has seen a significant increase in daily use, from 28 percent in 2015 to 48 percent in 2016.
The survey, which was based on 3,500 face-to-face interviews conducted with Arab men and women aged 18 to 24, between February 7 to March 7, 2017, covered 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
As per the survey, Facebook and WhatsApp are considered the most popular social media channels in the region, with 68 percent of young Arabs checking the platforms daily.
Twitter has also seen a rise, and is viewed daily by 37 percent of young Arabs, against 28 percent in 2016.
A new platform for this year's survey, and so does not have the corresponding data from 2016, is Snapchat, which according to the survey’s findings this year is used daily by 42 percent of young Arabs
One in three (35 percent) young Arabs say they would most likely live in the UAE.
Preference for the UAE was so strong this year that it left other trailing, with the US a distant second at 15 percent, Canada and Saudi Arabia at 14 percent, and Germany dropping behind the Kingdom for the first time at 13 percent
The UAE scored highly among Arab youth for its safety and security, growing economy, good job opportunities – and good wages – and its high-quality education system, all listed as key associations with the country.
The survey has consistently revealed that safety and security are key concerns of Arab youth, along with good job opportunities and economic stability. With all those factors found in abundance in the UAE – and with a familiar language and culture, as well – it’s no surprise that the UAE’s position as a regional success story is viewed so positively by young Arabs.
Across all markets, an average 54 percent said they use English over Arabic in their daily interactions – a consistent increase from 2015, and a jump of 8 points over 2016.
Looking at long-term optimism, the figures reflect a growing pessimism among young Arabs.
This year, 58 percent of young Arabs say that their best days are ahead of them, a 13-point drop from last year. Today, 39 percent of young people believe their best days are behind them – a 15-point increase from 2016.
For the third consecutive year, concern about the quality of education received has spiked. Compared to 32 percent in 2016, there is an overall increase by 7 percent to 39 percent this year in the number of young people who are ‘very concerned’ about the quality of education in their country.
Download the full report here or from the green box to the right.