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State of World Population 2014

The Power of 1.8 Billion - Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future

image of State of World Population 2014
Our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Never before have there been so many young people. Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people will define our common future.

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Young people and the demographic dividend

Many of the countries with the largest portions of youth today are among the poorest in the world, but they are also on the cusp of the demographic transition that can yield a demographic dividend. Transition begins as fertility and mortality rates start to fall, leaving fewer dependents. More people, proportionally, are in the workforce. The dividend comes as resources are freed for economic development, and for greater per capita spending on higher quality health and education services. Economic growth takes off. A virtuous cycle begins where capabilities and opportunities continuously expand.

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