This study is part of the British Council's broader Next Generation research programme aimed at understanding youth perspectives and informing policy and programming to better address their needs.

Scope of the Research

The research is organised into three primary sections:

  1. Profiles: Examines how the values, beliefs, and practices of young Iraqis shape their current lives and future aspirations.
  2. Perceptions: Explores young people's lived experiences and perceptions of global and personal challenges.
  3. Pathways: Identifies the enablers and barriers to young Iraqis achieving their full potential in education, employment, and political engagement.

Key Findings

  • Optimism Despite Challenges: Despite facing significant economic difficulties, young Iraqis remain optimistic about their future. A notable 54% are optimistic about their future careers, and 51% are optimistic about their future quality of life. Although climate change is not a key concern due to day-to-day issues and a lack of connecting local challenges with changes in the climate, 44% of young Iraqi’s see climate change as a growing concern.
  • Family and Social Media as Key Influences: Family is a central value, seen as the most trustworthy source of information and key to personal success and happiness. Social media is also a vital source of information and a platform for youth expression, although trust in social media remains low.
  • Economic Pressures and Desired Skills: Young Iraqis face significant economic barriers and express a strong need for skills such as creativity (38%), problem-solving (38%), and communication (28%). They seek a reformed education system that integrates these practical skills to better prepare them for the workforce.
  • Gender and Disability Disparities: There are significant gender disparities, particularly in employment, education, and entrepreneurship. Young women face more barriers compared to men, and disabled young persons encounter accessibility issues and social stigma that hinder their educational and employment opportunities.
  • Political Engagement: While feeling left out of the electoral process, young Iraqis are not politically apathetic. They utilise alternative forms of political engagement, such as protests and social media, to make their voices heard.

These insights highlight the complex landscape of challenges and opportunities facing young Iraqis today, emphasising the need for targeted and inclusive policies and interventions to support their development and engagement in society​.

Citation and licensing

Babic, A., Brokowski, A., & Iliasov, A. (2024). Next Generation Iraq. British Council.

Next Generation Iraq 2024 by The British Council is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0