Monday, 19 June 2017



NB; It would not be fair if I proceed with my story without touching on what the demographic dividend is.
Demographic dividend occurs when the proportion of working people in the total population is high because this indicates that more people have the potential to be productive and contribute to growth of the economy. According to the United National population research, during the last four decades the countries of Asia and Latin America have been the main beneficiaries of the demographic dividend. Advanced countries of Europe, Japan and USA have an aging population because of low birth rates and low mortality rates. Neither the least developed countries nor the countries of Africa have as yet experienced favourable demographic conditions according to the research by UN population division. China’s one child policy has reversed the demographic dividend it enjoyed since the mid 1960s according to a World Bank global development report.
Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” [1] In other words, it is “a boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents.” [1] UNFPA stated that, “A country with both increasing numbers of young people and declining fertility has the potential to reap a demographic dividend. [1]
Due to the dividend between young and old, many argue that there is a great potential for economic gains, which has been termed the "demographic gift".[2] In order for economic growth to occur the younger population must have access to quality education, adequate nutrition and health including access to sexual and reproductive health.
However, this drop in fertility rates is not immediate. The lag between produces a generational population bulge that surges through society. For a period of time this “bulge” is a burden on society and increases the dependency ratio. Eventually this group begins to enter the productive labor force. With fertility rates continuing to fall and older generations having shorter life expectancies, the dependency ratio declines dramatically. This demographic shift initiates the demographic dividend. With fewer younger dependents, due to declining fertility and child mortality rates, and fewer older dependents, due to the older generations having shorter life expectancies, and the largest segment of the population of productive working age, the dependency ratio declines dramatically leading to the demographic dividend. Combined with effective public policies this time period of the demographic dividend can help facilitate more rapid economic growth and puts less strain on families. This is also a time period when many women enter the labor force for the first time.[3] In many countries this time period has led to increasingly smaller families, rising income, and rising life expectancy rates.[3] However, dramatic social changes can also occur during this time, such as increasing divorce rates, postponement of marriage, and single-person households.[3]

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