According to the recent data published by WHO, out of the 184 countries analysed, Cyprus is the safest country for young people to live, with a death rate of almost one in every 4,762 youths. A young person was defined as aged between 15 and 29.
On the other side of the scale, Sierra Leone proved to be the most dangerous with one youth in every 150, estimated to have died in 2015.
The figures show a widening gap of youth mortality between the developed and developing world as nine of the 10 most dangerous countries are in Africa.
Cyprus topped the list with 21 deaths for every 100,000 youths, followed by Luxembourg which had 22, Spain with 25 and Denmark along with Malta with 26.
The UK and Japan had 33, Greece – 45, USA – 75 and Russia – 178 young deaths for every 100,000 youths.
Sierra Leone, Syria and Ivory Coast are the most dangerous for young people according to the 2015 figures which indicate 671, 579 and 574 young people die every 100,000 youths. Syria is the only non-African country to feature among the 25 countries with the highest youth mortality rates.
Road accidents are the most common cause of death of young people throughout the world. The WHO estimates that 350,000 young people died in 2015 as a result of traffic-related injuries.
While the number of deaths from self-harm decreased during the period, the WHO estimates that 220,000 people took their lives in 2015, making it the second most common cause of death among young people.
Countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Russia, New Zealand and Argentina have self-harm-related mortality rates over 20 per 100,000 for this age group, while nearly half of all young deaths in Iceland in 2015 were due to self-harm. Self-harm is the most common cause of death for young people in the UK.
From 2000 to 2015, deaths in African countries related to pregnancy, tuberculosis, parasitical diseases – including malaria – and diarrhoea fell by around a third. These deaths are easily preventable with adequate healthcare and sanitation, and seldom occur in western Europe.
The average global mortality rate related to personal violence has decreased by about 14%, from 12 to 10 young deaths per 100,000. But it remains very high in a few Latin American countries, such as Brazil, El Salvador, Colombia, Honduras and Venezuela.
Globally, the mortality rate for young people decreased 21% between 2000 and 2015, with HIV-related deaths in particular falling significantly. Yet the gap between developing and developed countries has widened in that period, from 2.2 up to 2.4 times higher.