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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.1 Target population of youth policy

Last update: 21 February 2022

The Ministry of Children and Families, which is the main responsible authority for children and young people, generally defines youth as those aged between 13 and 26. This aligns with the regulations relating to national grants for voluntary child and youth organisations which triggers grants for organisations with counting members up to the age of 26.

A 2011 Official Norwegian Report (NOU) on youth influence and participation in Norway, NOU 2011: 20 Ungdom, makt og medvirkning, defined youth by age in three sub-groups:

  • 12 – 15 years: youths in lower secondary school
  • 16 – 19 years: youths primarily in upper secondary school 
  • 20 – 26 years: youths/young adults in the process of establishing themselves through education and the labour market

However, the definition of youth is broad and changeable across sectors and policy initiatives. The category ‘children and young people’ is in many contexts defined up until the age of 24.

The “0-24 cooperation” is a cross-sectoral initiative of the Directorate of Health, the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, the Directorate of Labour and Welfare, the Directorate for Integration and Diversity and the Directorate for Education to support and strengthen coordination and cooperation at the national level for the benefit of children and young people between 0 and 24. This is aligned with the so called young person’s right laid down in the Education Act which establishes the statutory right to upper secondary education and training for young people until the school year starting when they turn 24.

In addition, the Government’s 2015 plan on child and youth policy initiatives provides an overview of initiatives for children and adolescents aged 0-24.