€153,013,053,902. That is the cost to the European Union of the 13,941,264 young people who are not in education, employment or training. The official acronym is NEETs and the number of this 'lost generation' is growing to record levels.
The amount is worth 1.21% of the EU's GDP, up from 0.96% when the recession hit in 2008. In the UK, this cost €18.4bn (£15bn) in 2011, and includes 1,872,403 15 to 29 year-olds. The number of people is second only to Italy, with 2,157,052 people costing €32.6bn.
The data is from Eurofound, which is the EU research agency specialising in living and working conditions. Shiv Malik writes today that:
Europeans aged 15 to 29 who are not in employment, education or training have reached record levels and are costing the EU €3bn a week in state welfare and lost production. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Europe was "failing in its social contract" with the young and rising political disenchantment could reach levels similar to those that sparked North African uprisings during the Arab spring
Of those out of education, training and employment, 73% of 15- to 19-year-olds had no experience of work at all, dropping to 43% for those aged 20 to 24 and 28% for 25- to 29-year-olds. In southern European countries such as Italy, Bulgaria and Greece, the figure for Neets aged 25 to 29 with no experience of work rose to over 40%.
While Germany and Austria have seen falls, the numbers are rising across the EU, especially in the crisis-hit economies of Greece (+54.7%) and Spain (+34.4%). One of the biggest increases is Denmark - up by 52%, although it is still one of the lowest in Europe with 76,201 people in 2011.
It costs the EU €10,651 per person - although it varies across the region, from €2,042 in Bulgaria to €22,705 in the Netherlands. In the UK, it costs €14,526 per person. But the costs are rising faster even than the number of Neets, up by 28.33% across the EU, and 36.49% in the UK. In Romania, the costs are up by 77.97%.
Neets in Europe mapped. Click the image to explore the interactive map
What are the long-term implications? The official report from Eurofound points to a gneration of people who may be out of the labour force for years to come. The team discovered that 30% of Greek graduates were Neets. In Italy it was 20% – twice the EU average.
The full data is below for you to download. What can you do with it?