Middle Eastern Millennials Survey

A recent study released by ASDAA Burston-Marsteller, a leading Middle Eastern Public Relation consultancy chronicles the demographics, behaviors and attitudes of young residents of the Middle East, across 9 countries. This survey is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in recent Middle Eastern history and provides some useful insights. This kind of information is an important insight into one of the most important segments of the Middle Eastern population. The Middle East is a very young region, by and large, and with its interesting mix between abundance of certain resources and dearth of others, provides an intriguing set of questions and concerns as we move forward into the coming decades.

Some of the most interesting points, for me, are mentioned below –

1. The single most important priority for young people in the Middle East is living in a democratic country, followed by having quality infrastructure, and access to the best universities.

2. The rising cost of living, shortage of affordable housing, and unemployment are the top three worries for Arab youth

3. Despite the rapid acceptance by young Arabs of the digital age, nearly half of all those surveyed read a newspaper every day

4. Two-thirds of Arab youth spend their leisure time in front of the TV

5. Many young people’s spending habits are leaving them in debt

6. The growing economic significance of the East, specifically China and India, appears to be influencing the way in which Arab youth regard the international community

7. Today’s Arab youth consider themselves as true citizens of the world

8. Youth in the Middle East are evenly split on their preference to work in the government or private sector

I am particularly interested to see the reactions reported related to mainstream media use versus social networking use, given the attachment that young Middle-Easterners have to their mobile devices. I wonder if the future of communication in the Middle East is headed toward a different trajectory than it is in the West. It will be interesting to see how Middle Eastern youth embrace new media in ways that work for them.