The Situation of Rural Youth Livelihood Diversification and Its Determinants in North Western Ethiopia

Kasahun Desyalew Mekonen


It has been repeatedly reported that Ethiopia has achieved a ‘remarkable economic growth’ that appears to have put the country on sustained and high growth trajectory since 2003/04. However, improvements in labor market opportunities for youth; most importantly for rural youth lag behind the presumed economic growth. Such kind of paradox between high economic growth and high youth unemployment and underemployment is the combined result of various factors that impede youth livelihood developments. Despite these facts, the issue is usually considered as the only problem of university and college graduates and urban youths. Due to this, most previous studies on livelihood mainly focused on urban youth livelihoods opportunities and related issues and failed to see the issues from school dropout and uneducated rural youth contexts. Hence this study is meant to focus rural youth livelihood impediments in four selected districts of East Gojjam zone, Amhara regional state.  Employing cross sectional mixed research approaches, data were gathered through survey and Key informant interview from a total of 388 sample and 6 key informant interviewees recruited from eleven Kebeles of the four districts. Data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression, Simpson Diversification Index, mean, maximum, minimum standard deviation and other descriptive statics. The finding revealed that youths are engaged in one to three income generating activities and as indicated in the descriptive analysis 75.5 % youths were less diversified, 16 % were moderately diversified and the remaining 8.5 % were found highly diversified. The multinomial logistic regression result found out that the principal determinant factors behind the very limited youth livelihood diversification status include, low educational access and quality, sex based stereotyping culture in the community, age based restriction of information access, market inaccessibility nearby their village, high dependency ratio, lack of road and transport access and  shortage of credit access.

Keywords: Rural youth, livelihood diversification, livelihood strategy, impediments

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-23-02

Publication date: December 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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