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Toronto is the best city to live in the world for youth, according to a study by Citi Bank's 'Citi Foundation' in partnership with The Economist's Intelligence Unit (EIU). Citi Foundation's 'Accelerating Pathways' initiative took an in-depth look at how 35 global cities support young people's economic ambitions, through establishing the Youth Economic Strategy (YES) Index and conducting more than 5,000 expert interviews. Toronto outranked New York City, Chicago, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The YES Index is comprised of 31 indicators, 24 of which were collected through The Economist's Intelligence Unit (EIU) and The World Bank, while the remaining seven qualitative insights came through secondary research and interviews of at least 150 youth from each of the 35 global cities. The indicators are grouped into four categories: government support and institutional framework for youth, employment and entrepreneurship, education and training, and human and social capital. Toronto either finished first, or tied for first in 10 of the indicators, including at least one in each of the four categories.
Within the government support and institutional framework for youth category, Toronto placed first in two indicators: local government support for youth, and local government data collection and evaluation of youth programmes, claiming second overall in the category. Authors of the report applaud the city's 'Working as One' youth strategy, and mention the many programs offered by provincial and federal levels of government that support Toronto's young people. The Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, for example, invested close to $300 million over two years to connect 30,000 youth with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment and start their own business.
Toronto placed second in the employment and entrepreneurship category, while ranking first in four indicators: ease in doing business, presence and effectiveness of youth networks, quality of employment opportunities and depth of financing [for youth]. At the city level, the report names the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE) as the most important program. Established in 2009, PAYE is a joint initiative between private-sector employees and the City of Toronto which helps improve access to economic opportunities for Toronto's youth.
On the heels of the University of Toronto receiving accolades for being one of the top-ranked universities in the world, Toronto had a strong performance in the education and training category. In a country that boasts the highest rate of adults with post-secondary education among OECD countries, it is no surprise that Toronto offers the best access to financing for tertiary education. However, it also offers unparalleled access to technology, according to the index. This helped Toronto finish nearly 10 points above the average at 11th place.
The commercial centre of Canada attracts the world's best talent with its unbeatable quality of life. Finishing tied for first for quality of health care; Toronto claimed the top spot for human and social capital. The city eclipsed the group average by more than six points, beating out Washington DC, Sydney, Chicago and New York City.
Read the full report: Citi Foundation's Youth Economic Strategy Index
November 30, 2015
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All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. Information is accurate at the time of publication.