Calculating the size of your target group

AYRH services could be delivered through various outlets such as the health facility, household, community, schools, and other social institutions such as religious institutions, as well as areas frequented by young people. Before you provide services it is important that you know the size of your target group and what specific services they need and through which outlets you could provide the services.

How would you find out the size of your target group?

You could conduct a survey of your community. This is one of the first things that you do when you enter a community before starting to provide any service. From that survey, you know the number of persons by age and sex for each household and for the whole community. From the survey you can find out the number of young people aged 10–24 years old.

In general two thirds of the population is under the age of 25 but your target group is aged 10-14 years of age

It is helpful to make a table categorising the young people by age and sex group. This will help you to plan and tailor your AYRH programmes.

For example, suppose you found that the total population of your community was 5,000 and the total number of young people in the age group 10-24 years was 1,500 you should assume that half of these are females and each age group is one third of the total. This is shown in the table below.

What is the percentage of young people in your community?

The percentage of young people in your community = (1,500 ÷ 5,000) x 100 = 30%

Young people in the community by age and sex.

AgeSexTotal
FemaleMale
10–14 250 250 500
15–19 250 250 500
20–24 250 250 500
Total 750 750 1,500

Calculating the number of young people in the community by age and sex is important for:

• planning tailor-made RH information and services
• calculating the utilisation of services by age and sex
• monitoring progress and evaluating achievements.