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26/10/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
World´s youth population highest ever

A quarter of the world´s population is between 10 and 24 years old, UN report says


A quarter of the world population consists of youths between the ages of 10 and 24, says UN ´State of world population 2014´ report. Developing countries with large youth populations could see their economies soar, provided they invest heavily in young people´s education and health and protect their rights, according to The State of World Population 2014, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
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There are more young people today than at any other time in human history, according to a UN report released on Tuesday. Almost a quarter of the world population, i.e. 1.8 billion out 7.1 billion, consists of youths between the ages of 10 and 24, says the United Nations Population Fund report.

In the world´s 48 least developed countries, the majority of people are children, or adolescents, while in 17 developing countries, including Afghanistan and sub-Saharan African countries, half the population is under age 18. Those countries, the report claims, will soon face challenges in order to meet the needs of rising younger generations.

"Young people matter, because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future," the report says. "They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be fulfilled."

In the 1950s and 1960s, several East Asian economies invested heavily in young people’s capabilities and in expanding their access to voluntary family planning, enabling individuals to start families later and have fewer children. The result was unprecedented economic growth. The Republic of Korea, for example, saw its per-capita gross domestic product grow about 2,200 per cent between 1950 and 2008.

Nine in ten of the world’s young people today live in less developed countries. Because of lagging social services, these countries face greater obstacles to leveraging the advantages that can result from engaging a youthful, productive workforce.

The UNFPA report shows that demographic shifts taking place in about 60 countries are opening a window for a demographic dividend. The size of the dividend depends largely on how those countries invest in young people to realize their full potential.

If sub-Saharan African countries repeated the East Asian experience by making the right investments in young people, enabling them to participate in decisions that affect their lives and adopting policies to bolster economic growth.

A demographic dividend of this magnitude has the potential to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and raise living standards and catapult economies forward, the report states.

Critical youth investments needed to reap a demographic dividend are those that protect rights, including reproductive rights, improve health, including sexual and reproductive health, and provide skills and knowledge to build young people’s capabilities and agency. These investments can also accelerate fertility declines, which can in turn accelerate the demographic transition.

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