World’s 1.8 Billion Young to Propel Changes

28-November-2014

UNFPA Launches State of World Population 2014 Report ‘The power of 1.8 billion: adolescents, youth and the transformation of the future’. The potential economic gains would be realized through a ‘demographic dividend’. 

 

Jakarta, 28 November 2014 – 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 on 18 Nov 2014 by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

 

Each year, the UNFPA develops the State of World Population (SWOP) report on a different theme based on population-related issues that arise during the reporting period. This year’s SWOP report carries the theme ‘The power of 1.8 billion: adolescents, youth and the transformation of the future’. The report is officially launched today by the UNFPA in coordination with the National Board of Population and Family Planning (BKKBN).

 

Today’s record 1.8 billion young people present an enormous opportunity to transform the future. Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. But they can transform the future only if they have skills, health, decision-making, and real choices in life. “With the right policies and investments in human capital, countries can empower young people to drive economic and social development and boost per-capita incomes,” said Jose Ferraris, UNFPA Representative in Indonesia, quoting the new UNFPA report.

 

The potential economic gains would be realized through a ‘demographic dividend’, which can occur when a county’s working age population is larger than the population that is dependent and younger, the report shows. But to maximize the dividend, countries must ensure their young working-age populations are equipped to seize opportunities for jobs and other income-earning possibilities.

 

In Indonesia, efforts have been made to accommodate the young. “The government program is committed and consistent to develop the young, which according to 2010 Population Census accounted to 65 million or 28% of the total population. Indonesia will seize the opportunity of demographic dividend,” said BKKBN Chairperson Prof. Fasli Jalal.

 

Chairperson of BKKBN Prof Fasli Jalal added that Indonesia has a young and energetic population. Therefore, the government is tailoring programs that equip the young with proper education and skills, awareness to stay healthy, knowledge for decision making, as well as a wider opportunity to grow.  

 

“Making these investments in youth is the right thing to do. It is also smart, for many reasons. For example, investing in youth can enable developing countries to reap a demographic dividend, which can help reduce poverty and raise living standards,” added Jose Ferraris.

 

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.

 

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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UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

 

For more information, please contact Mr. Samidjo – National Programme Officer for Advocacy, UNFPA Indonesia (Samidjo@unfpa.org or mobile +628121068328).

Tags: SWOP