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Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda

image of Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda
In its decision 2013/101, the Commission on Population and Development decided that the special theme for its forty-eighth session would be “Realizing the future we want: integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda”. The present report is one of three reports that have been produced to guide the Commission’s deliberations. The central challenge in designing the post-2015 development agenda is to ensure that efforts to improve the quality of life of the present generation are far-reaching, broad and inclusive but do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Accomplishing this goal hinges on the ability of the international community to ensure access to resources for growing numbers of people, eradicate poverty, move away from unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and safeguard the environment. In designing and implementing the new development agenda it is important to understand and account for the demographic changes that are likely to unfold over the next 15 years. While much remains unknown about the rate of transformation of the global economy or the speed at which technological advancements will be needed to improve efficiency and reduce humanity’s environmental footprint, the speed and direction of population change, at least in the near future, is far more predictable. The report focuses on the demographic changes that are projected to occur over the next 15 years and discusses what they imply for efforts to achieve sustainable development.

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Preparing for the next 1.9 billion young people

Between 2015 and 2030, 1.9 billion young people are projected to turn 15 years old, a 3 per cent increase at the global level. This young generation represents a major promise for economic development, technological innovation and social change. Globally, the total number of young people is at an all-time high, with 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2015 and nearly 1.3 billion projected by 2030. The number of adolescents and youth aged between 15 and 24-years old in Africa will increase from 226 million in 2015 to 321 million in 2030. Increases in the number of young people will be particularly visible in several low- or lower-middle-income African countries, including Burundi, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, where the number of young people aged between 15 and 24 is projected to increase by more than 60 per cent between 2015 and 2030 (see figure VI). In stark contrast, the number of young people in Asia, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to decline, in some cases significantly. For example, the population aged between 15 and 24 will decline by around 8 per cent in Brazil, China and the Netherlands between 2015 and 2030, and by more than 20 per cent in Albania, Cuba and Thailand.

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