Young people who are marginalized are poor, have had little exposure to education and training, often lack access to productive employment and may be socially and economically unassimilated. The incidence is especially great in the underdeveloped countries, and there is an ever-widening gap between the standards of living of young people in the economically developed and developing countries. Social problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse, and juvenile delinquency are linked to marginalization, although the cause and effect is not easily determined.
The world population of young people in 1987 was approximately 988 million, of whom approximately 80% came from the less-developed countries of the world. By the year 2000, these figures will have increased to 1,050 million and 885 million, respectively, meaning that approximately 84% of the world's young people will come from the less developed countries, whereas the population of young people in the more developed countries will decline in absolute terms.
UK charities estimate that more than 80,000 young people have no job, no training place and no income. Claims for short-term discretionary hardship payments to young people increased from 10,700 in 1988 to 77,900 for three quarters of 1992.