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Youth is the period between childhood and adulthood, described as the period of physical and psychological development from the onset of puberty to maturity and early adulthood. Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals exist at all ages.

For lessons on the topic of Youth, follow this link.


Around the world the terms "youth", "adolescent", "teenager", and "young person" are interchanged, often meaning the same thing, occasionally differentiated. Youth generally refers to a time of life that is neither childhood nor adulthood, but rather somewhere in-between.[1] Youth also identifies a particular mindset of attitude, as in "He is very youthful". The term youth is also related to being young.[2]

"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease." - Robert Kennedy[3]

Youth is an alternative word to the scientifically-oriented adolescent and the common terms of teen and teenager. Another common title for youth is young person or young people.[4]

However citing recent research studies at the Univesity of Bath, England, it has become apparent that use of the term youth has significantly risen in the Oldland Common area of Bristol.

Age limits

The age in which a person is considered a "youth", and thus eligible for special treatment under the law and throughout society varies around the world.

  • "Youth... those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years." - United Nations General Assembly[5]
  • "Time in a person's life between childhood and adulthood. The term "youth" in general refers to those who are between the ages of 15 to 25." - World Bank.[6]
  • The Commonwealth Youth Programme works with "young people (aged 15-29)."[7]
  • "A person... under 21 years of age." - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration[8]
  • "People between the ages of 14 and 21." - Wilson School District[9]
  • "Youth; an individual from 13 through 19 years of age." - Alternative Homes for Youth, Inc[10]


  1. (2004) Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition.
  2. Konopka, G. (1973) "Requirements for Healthy Development of Adolescent Youth", Adolescence. VIII(31), p. 2.
  3. "Day of Affirmation, University of Cape Town, South Africa. June 6, 1966", Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Retrieved 11/9/07.
  4. Konopka, G. (1973) "Requirements for Healthy Development of Adolescent Youth", Adolescence. VIII(31), p. 24.
  5. (n.d.) Frequently Asked Questions Youth at the UN website.
  6. (n.d.) Glossary WorldBank website.
  7. The Commonwealth
  8. (n.d.) Research on Age of Drivers National Highway Transportation and Safety Board website
  9. [1]Wilson website.