The 2009 Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE) generated a unique source of data on the situation of youth in Egypt, covering a broad set of areas crucial to the transition to adulthood, including education, employment, migration, health, family formation, social issues, and civic and political participation. Given the unprecedented series of political changes that have occurred in Egypt since 2009, the Population Council designed and implemented the second wave of SYPE in 2014 in order to observe how Egyptian young people have been faring following this transitional period. The Population Council, in partnership with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), collected the second round of data for the Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE) in 2013/2014, which re-interviewed the same sample of young people that were interviewed in 2009.
SYPE 2014 IS A PANEL DATA SET WITH SYPE 2009
The five years that have passed since the Population Council's Survey of Young People in Egypt of 2009 (SYPE 2009) have proved to be a tumultuous period for the country. The year 2011 marked a historic year for Egyptian youth, as young people from around the country took an active role in the January 25 revolution.
Through their activism in early 2011, Egypt's young revolutionaries gained a platform to denounce their social and political marginalization, and demand their rights to freedom, justice, equality, and opportunity.
This unprecedented voice for Egypt's youth pointed a national spotlight on many of the challenges that were found in the 2009 SYPE, including an educational system unresponsive to youth needs, difficult employment conditions, low civic and political engagement, and a social environment that denies youth access to essential information about their transition to adulthood.
Since 2011, Egypt has undergone several political fluctuations and changes of power, with civil unrest and continued protests marking many events during the transition. Furthermore, the past four years have proven costly to Egypt's economic well-being and the labor market. Post-revolutionary political instability has resulted in the widespread divestment of foreign-owned firms, the declining value of the Egyptian pound, and a looming debt crisis the Egyptian state is still struggling to avoid. The tumultuous climate has resulted in an enormous drop in revenues for particular economic sectors, such as tourism. Moreover, the return of large numbers of migrants from Libya and other countries in the region affected by the “Arab Spring” has also negatively affected the Egyptian labor market.
This post-revolutionary economic stagnation is expected to have resulted in a steady deterioration of job quality and increasing employment informality, in the context of labor market conditions that were already difficult for young entrants. Such economic challenges could not come at a worse time for Egypt's youth.
Like other countries in the region, Egypt is currently experiencing a demographic “youth bulge,” meaning that the population of young people is significantly larger than other age groups. Although more highly educated than previous generations, this population of young people has struggled to achieve economic stability. Even prior to the 2011 uprisings, Egypt's youth constituted an estimated 90% of the country's unemployed.
It is therefore vital to question how Egypt's youth are now faring in a significantly more unfavorable economic climate, and whether they are able to access the professional opportunities needed to work toward economic independence and complete key life transitions such as getting married and starting a family. At the same time, the transitional period may have opened up new opportunities to youth in other areas of life, most notably deeper engagement with media, politics, and civic life. Such questions regarding youth employment and civic participation in the current tumultuous era, along with potential changes in the institutions and decisions that shape the transition to adulthood, such as health and access to health care, quality of education, migration, marriage, and youth attitudes and life outlooks, are what this report seeks to better understand.
The 2009 Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE) was fielded in May 2009 and collected data on several key areas of interest to youth, including education, employment, migration, health, family formation, social issues, and civic and political participation. In order to observe how young people have been faring during the transition period in Egypt in comparison to 2009, the Population Council designed the second wave of SYPE in 2014, which re-interviewed the same sample of young people who were interviewed in 2009. This yields a panel data set that spans the periods before and after the January 25, 2011 revolution, and that is nationally representative for both time periods.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
2- Youth aged (13-35) years.
Version 4.5: A version of SYPE 2014 data prepared by the Population Council and the ERF for dissemination
The topics covered by the survey include the following:
3- Employment and labor market
4- International migration
5- Marriage and family formation
6- The youth of the revolution: participation in political events
7- Civic engagement and political attitudes
8- Attitudes toward gender roles
Employment and labor market
Marriage and family formation
Civic engagement and political attitudes
Participation in political events
Attitudes toward gender roles
The SYPE sample is nationally representative, covering all governorates in Egypt, including the five Frontier governorates. The SYPE sample is considered to be an innovative design, because it allows for a priori inclusion of slum areas within the urban sample.
The survey covered a national sample of households and selected youth aged 13-35.
Producers and sponsors
Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics
US Agency for International Development
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Development Programme
Joint Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Health Organization
University of Tennessee
SYPE 2014 IS A PANEL DATA SET WITH SYPE 2009
Survey design and implementation
SYPE 2009 targeted young people aged 10-29, thus encompassing both "youth" and "adolescents. The SYPE team chose this age range in order to track young people throughout the complete duration of their transition to adulthood, allowing for an extended period to account for the phenomenon of delayed marriage and, in some cases, delayed transitions to productive work. The SYPE 2014 survey built a panel dataset by going back to re-interview the same sample of young people (now aged 13-35) interviewed in SYPE 2009 in all governorates of Egypt.
A brief explanation of the sampling design for the previous wave of SYPE is essential for understanding the 2014 SYPE sampling. SYPE 2009 is a uniquely comprehensive survey in that it is nationally representative, covering all the governorates in Egypt including the five frontier governorates, and was specifically designed for a priori inclusion of informal urban areas, also known as slums (or ashwaiyyat in Arabic). The Frontier Governorates and informal areas are often not covered in largescale surveys. The sample is designed so that the data are not only nationally representative, but also representative of Egypt's six major administrative regions: the Urban Governorates, rural Upper Egypt, urban Upper Egypt, rural Lower Egypt, urban Lower Egypt, and the Frontier Governorates.
The 2009 SYPE sample is a stratified, multi-stage cluster sample. Sampling was determined using primary sampling units (PSUs) drawn from the master sample provided by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), which was based on the 2006 national census. SYPE 2009 consisted of 455 PSUs, with 239 PSUs in rural areas and 216 PSUs in urban areas. Rural PSUs were divided equally between large and small villages, in order to accurately represent the diversity of rural demographics and account for peri-urbanization.
Informal settlements were selected from a list developed by the Information and Decision Support Center of the Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers (IDSC). The 2009 SYPE data collection and processing were conducted in collaboration with the IDSC.
Out of the 11,372 households selected from the CAPMAS master sample for the 2009 SYPE sample, 20,200 young people were eligible to participate, and the Kish grid technique was used to draw a sample of 16,061 subjects from this pool of potential participants.
In total, 15,029 of the sampled 16,061 young people were interviewed, with attrition primarily being due to the individual's refusal to participate or unavailability during data collection periods.
SYPE 2014 sampled the same young people who were part of the original sample of 15,029 individuals surveyed in 2009. Of the 15,029 young people interviewed in 2009, data collectors managed to completely interview 10,916 (72.6%) aged 13-35 for the SYPE 2014 study (A few respondents reported being below age 14 at the time of the 2014 SYPE interview. These cases were left as is and included in the analysis, after carefully checking their exact age.) Every effort was made to track down the current contact information of households and/or eligible young people who had changed their location since the 2009 interview. During the SYPE 2014 data collection phase, a household was not interviewed (i.e., the household questionnaire was not filled out) if the eligible young person could not be located either in the original or in a split household.
Weights based on the probability of non-response were constructed to adjust the sample of the 2014 SYPE for attrition (Very few cases were reported as missing due to migration or death of an eligible young person. These cases were assigned to the "household not found" or "individual not found" categories. However, it is suspected that some of the households that were unable to be tracked in 2014 may also have been missing due to the migration or death of household members).
Deviations from the Sample Design
Attrition was mainly due to family refusal to participate (9%) as well as the relocation of respondents (14%) who could not be tracked in 2014, 60% of the interviewed individuals were still in their original 2009 households, while 12.6% were found in split households (A split household is defined in this 2014 SYPE panel as a household that was formed due to the move of at least one eligible young person out of his/her original 2009 household to form a new household after the 2009 interview).
Of the 15,029 young people interviewed in 2009, data collectors managed to completely interview 10,916 (72.6%) aged 13-35 for the SYPE 2014 study
** For information on the 2009 SYPE sample and its sampling weights, See the English report of SYPE 2009 available among the external resources in the Survey of Young People in Egypt 2009 study on the ERF data portal.
- For data analysis purposes, the variable "expan_Elig" should be used to weight the data.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
In early June 2013, the SYPE team conducted a week-long training for fieldworkers, and approximately 115 interviewers and field supervisors participated.
The training was conducted by CAPMAS and monitored by the Population Council. During the training, each question of the household and individual questionnaires was discussed in detail with the fieldworkers, who completed a written exam at the end of the training week. Based on the exam results, in addition to fieldworker's performance during the training, those with unsatisfactory performance were excluded from the SYPE data collection team. Prior to data collection in the non-frontier governorates, the fieldwork staff underwent a four-day refresher training course in November of 2013.
In March 2014, the field staff again participated in a refresher course before conducting fieldwork in these governorates. The SYPE 2014 data collection was conducted in collaboration with CAPMAS. Fieldwork in the non-frontier governorates started in late 2013 and continued until February 2014. However, the security situation in the frontier areas delayed research in the corresponding governorates. SYPE data collection in the Frontier Governorates started in March 2014 and was completed in June 2014.
Data collection was completed under the direct management of CAPMAS, which formed 18 field teams to conduct the SYPE. Field teams consisted of one supervisor, four interviewers, and one field editor.
Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics
The 2014 SYPE questionnaire is based primarily on the 2009 survey, which was developed using qualitative data from focus group discussions and interviews with young people that determined the issues that were important to youth. In addition, the Council team consulted with different partners and research experts in each of the topics covered in the survey and completed an extensive overview of literature to further refine the 2009 questionnaire. In its semi-final stage, pretesting in selected PSUs in the Qalyubia, Cairo, and Giza governorates in March of 2009 helped the team further refine the survey before commencing nationwide data collection.
The 2009 survey consisted of three questionnaires:
- A household questionnaire,
- An individual questionnaire focused on the respondent, and
- A community-level questionnaire. The 2009 community-level questionnaire was used to assess characteristics of the subject's local community. This questionnaire was not administered as part of the 2014 SYPE due to budget constraints.
The household questionnaire assessed the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the subject's household, with the head of the household or an adult in the household interviewed for this section.
The 2009 individual questionnaire consisted of six versions designed specifically for different age groups and genders: males aged 10-14, females aged 10-14, males aged 15-21, females aged 15-21, males aged 22-29, and females aged 22-29. In 2014, The SYPE team decided to design one all-inclusive version of the questionnaire using skip patterns whenever needed. Individual questionnaires for both rounds of SYPE covered the following key areas: education, work, family formation, health, migration, and civic and political participation.
In late 2012 and early 2013, the Population Council team began updating the SYPE 2009 household and individual questionnaires in consultation with several partners and frequent SYPE users. In April of 2013, the Population Council team held several consultative meetings with experts in the fields covered by the different SYPE modules, SYPE partners and donors, and officials from relevant ministries to get additional feedback on the contents of each module of the updated version of the survey. These meetings significantly improved the design of the questionnaire.
The result is a more comprehensive version of these two questionnaires. The SYPE 2014 household questionnaire now includes additional information on migration, remittances, and household income and transfers. The SYPE 2014 individual questionnaire also added questions that cover new issues emerging since the January 25, 2011 revolution, especially in relation to the civic engagement module, which focuses on four areas: civic and political participation, community values, gender role attitudes, and religiosity. The health, violence, risk, and safety module has been significantly updated as well to gain a broad picture of how youth's safety has changed since 2009, including exposure to health hazards, harassment, and physical violence. In early August, the updated 2014 SYPE questionnaires were submitted to CAPMAS for legal approval, which was granted shortly after. Furthermore, as was the case in 2009, the 2014 SYPE study was approved by the Population Council's Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the commencement of fieldwork. The IRB reviews research involving human subjects to ensure that participants in such fieldwork are treated ethically and that participation does not compromise the participant's safety or well-being. This is especially important when a study involves minors, which is the case with SYPE.
In June of 2013, a two-day pretesting of the full household and individual questionnaires was conducted. This pretesting included 60 households in the urban and slum areas of El-Sayeda Zeinab and Abdeen districts of Cairo. Pretesting helped the Council determine the expected duration of the full interview and identify problematic questions and misleading skip patterns in the questionnaires, which were then modified accordingly.
Two weeks after data collection began, CAPMAS formed office editing, callback center, coding, and data entry teams. The office editing team, which consisted of 50 experienced editors trained for the particular task, carefully reviewed each questionnaire received from the field to ensure that questionnaires did not contain missing or illogical data and that skip patterns were followed correctly.
Identified errors were reported to the callback center team, which then contacted the interviewed families and individuals to gather the correct information.
When the callback center team identified inconsistencies in the questionnaire responses and family responses on the phone, which happened in very few cases, the questionnaire was sent to the quality control team for further investigation.
Once all questionnaires were reviewed, a team of 15 CAPMAS data coders transformed all open-ended questions into codes (In this step, the team used the recent CAPMAS official codebooks for occupation, economic activity, education certificate, school codes, and district of residence (shiakha/qism) and governorate) .
Finally, the reviewed and coded questionnaires were ready for data entry. Using a data entry interface designed specifically for SYPE 2014, the data entry team entered the data. The final clean data tape of the full SYPE 2014 data was submitted to the Population Council by CAPMAS in late September 2014.
Estimates of Sampling Error
SYPE estimates for sampling error estimation
The accuracy of survey estimates indicates how close the estimate is to its corresponding population value. The difference between the survey estimate and its population value is called the error of the survey estimate. The total error results from the two types of error, namely the sampling error and non-sampling error.
The sampling error arises when the whole population is represented by a part (sample) of it. All other errors in the survey estimate are called non-sampling error which may occur for different reasons during implementation of the sample survey. These reasons may include target population misidentification, questionnaire problems, respondents' bias, processing error, and time period bias among others. Sampling error can be estimated statistically while it is difficult to measure the non-sampling error.
Sampling error estimation
Standard error (SE) is usually used to measure the sampling error. The standard error is the square root of the variance. Standard error calculation is straightforward in the case of simple random sample. However, since the SYPE data result from a stratified multistage sample design, a more complex formula is used. The STATA SVY module is used to calculate the standard error for key estimates of SYPE 2014.
Precision measures of survey data estimates may include:
• Standard error (described in previous paragraph)
• Coefficient of variation
• Confidence Interval
• Design effect
Coefficient of variation (CV)
Coefficient of variation is the relative standard error. It is calculated as the ratio of the estimate sampling error to its value. The reliability of the survey estimates are questionable if CV exceeds 20%.
Confidence interval (CI)
A confidence interval is used to express the uncertainty of survey estimates. The sampling (standard) error is employed to construct a confidence interval of the parameter of interest. A 95% confidence interval means that when the same sampling method with the same sample size and design is used to select different samples and construct a confidence interval for each sample, the true population parameter is expected to fall within the confidence interval in 95% of all samples. However, if the lower bound of the confidence interval for a positive parameter is negative, it must be considered zero. Similarly, whenever the upper bound of a confidence interval exceeds 1, it must be considered 1.
Design effect (DEFF)
The design effect (DEFF) measures how much worse the given sample design is than a simple random sample (SRS) of the same size. The DEFF is defined as the ratio of the standard error of the used design to the standard error of SRS of the same sample size. The DEFF shows how much information is gained (or lost) by using the present survey compared to SRS. A DEFF value of 2 indicates that a double size of simple random sample is needed to get the same amount of information obtained by the present sample. A DEFF value of 1 indicates that the present sample conveys the same amount of information obtained by the SRS. Design effect (DEFF) is usually greater than 1. However, in some cases DEFF is less than 1, which may be due to the presence of outliers and/or small sample size.
Precision estimates for SYPE 2014 key indicators
Standard error and other precision measures are calculated for several selected SYPE 2014 key estimates. The selected indicators, the type of each estimate (mean, proportion, rate), and the base population are displayed in Table 1 in the final report available among the external resources.
For each selected indicator, the indicator estimate value (Estimate), its standard error (SE), the 95% confidence limits (estimates+/- 2 SE), the coefficient of variation (CV=SE/estimate), and the design effect.
For more information on the design effect, see tables S1-S39 and the listing on page 222 in the final report available among the external resources.
It is worth mentioning here that the stratifying variable used for variance estimation is defined as the intersection of variables of urban-rural residence (urban, rural, informal urban area) and geographic region (Urban Governorates, urban Lower Egypt, rural Lower Egypt, urban Upper Egypt, rural Upper Egypt, and Frontier Governorates). This is the same stratification scheme that was followed in designing the SYPE sample where an independent sample was selected from each of the 10 substrata defined by the intersection of the two mentioned variables. The purpose of such stratification is to create the most possible homogeneous strata with regard to the survey variables; hence more precise survey estimates would be attained.
Going through the precision measures tables the standard errors for indicators are smaller for population then for subpopulation. Table 31(in the final report available among the external resources) for example shows that the standard error for the percentage of married male youth in urban residence (0.012) is smaller than the SE of the same indicator in the urban Upper Egypt (0.029). Consequently, the 95% CI for the percentage of urban married male youth is (0.188, 0.237), which is smaller than the corresponding 95% CI for the same indicator in the urban Upper Egypt which is (0.184, 0.297).
** More information on the sampling errors of key indicators of SYPE is available in Appendix B in the final report available among the external resources.
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The data should only be used for scholarly, research, or educational purposes.
Users are prohibited from using data acquired from the Economic Research Forum in the pursuit of any commercial or private ventures.
Licensed datasets, accessible under conditions.
The users should cite the Population Council as the source of the data and the Economic Research Forum as the distributor as follows:
"Population Council, 2014.
Survey of Young People in Egypt dataset, SYPE 2014. [Computer file]. Cairo, Egypt: OAMDI; Economic Research Forum (distributor)."
Acknowledgement must also be given to the Population Council's funders as follows:
"Support for the Population Council's SYPE project was generously provided by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development, and by the Ford Foundation, Silatech, the University of Tennessee, and the UNFPA. The contents of this publication are the responsibility of the author/user and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Population Council or any of its donors."
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