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A sidenote by way of introduction: The British newspaper The Guardian is doing some incredibly innovative things with data journalism, least of which being its data blog where it talks about certain newsworthy datasets and makes the data available for download. Those datasets are frequently related to education, and regardless of topic, it's a trove of information. I recommend the blog for your RSS reader and/or encourage you to build something cool with the data.

UNICEF has released its latest "State of the World's Children" report, and The Guardian has posted the data on its website to compliment its story on UNICEF's findings.

Although ostensibly about children, UNICEF's report pays quite a bit of attention to the world's teens, noting that while much attention (i.e., education, health care, social development funds) is paid the first ten years of life, little really addresses the needs and the problems of adolescents. It's a cautionary note: "The report argues that adolescents are often marginalised in development budgets and programming, and that if this is not corrected then investment in global poverty, health, education and employment goals will be compromised."

According to UNICEF, the state of the world's teenagers is pretty grim. Of the 1.2 billion teens on the planet, the report found that 70 million are out of school. That varies, of course, by country. Only 5% of teens in Tanzania enroll in secondary school; 100% of teens in Sweden do. 81 million young people are unemployed and 15-24 year olds make up one-quarter of the world's working poor. That same age group is also one third of new AIDS cases each year. The study also looks at teen marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth, with particular attention to the lives of girls around the world.

Get the data.

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Audrey Watters


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