According to Eurostat, in 2011, 7.5 million young people aged 15–24 and an additional 6.5 million young people aged 25–29 were excluded from the labour market and education in Europe. Moreover there was a a significant increase in the NEETS rate in the previous years. The economic cost of not integrating NEETs is estimated at over €150 billion, or 1.2% of GDP, in 2011 figures.
NEETs are a very heterogeneous population. Some young people are at greater risk of being NEET than others: for example those with low levels of education, young people with an immigration background, disabled people, young people suffering from some kind of health issues, etc.
Being NEET has severe adverse consequences for the individual, society and the economy. Spending time as NEET may lead to a wide range of social disadvantages, such as disaffection, insecure and poor future employment, youth offending, and mental and physical health problems.
In 2011, the economic loss due to the disengagement of young people from the labour market was €153 billion. This is a conservative estimate and corresponds to 1.2% of European GDP.
Source: NEETs Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe, Luxembourg: Publications Offi ce of the European Union, 2012