While most European countries are experiencing a shortage of labor force as a consequence of declining fertility rates, these 11 countries with the highest youth population have different concerns. For such nations, the more imminent matter seems to be the generation of sufficient internal resources to be able to provide the youth basic necessities to sustain themselves. Education systems and employment opportunities will also have to be improved tenfold for the youngsters to have any chance of working for their respective countries’ development.
However, this matter is more alarming than it sounds as most of these states are in fact developing nations, which do not have the resources to cater to the needs of their young population, nor do they have any concrete plans of making much progress in the next few years. These countries majorly include ones in Africa, where 19% of the total population is made up of 15 to 24-year-olds (youth as defined by the United Nations). Latin America & the Caribbean and Asia are not far behind with 17% and 16% youth among their population, respectively.
Some of these countries might be able to make the most of their circumstances by achieving the phenomena referred to as a demographic dividend, a situation where the percentage of children in the nation decreases in comparison to the working age population of the country. Such an age composition provides the ideal opportunity for a nation to accelerate its economic progress as the number of dependents using up its resources will be quite small. Provided that the birth rates in these countries will have to decline to attain such an advantage, so it might be years before this shift in the age structure occurs. However, fortunately for them, according to the UN projections, fertility rates and consequently children are expected to decrease in the upcoming years, even in African nations. The total population of Africa is composed of 41% children (below 15 years of age) who will gradually grow to become a part of the age group classified as youth. Couple that with the anticipated decline in birth rates and the nations within this continent might be able to achieve a demographic dividend. The real question is whether or not they will be able to pull it off. Even with population projections and various forecasts by experts, only time will tell how this dilemma will play out.
With all this information in mind, it’s really no surprise that none of the 11 Countries With the Highest Urban Population Percentage appear on our list. Predictably, it does not contain any European countries either, where the population has been on a steady decline over the years what with low birth rates and high percentages of citizens above 60 years of age. So which countries did make the list of 11 countries with the highest youth population? To find out, we referred to the data issued by the UN as part of its report on “World Population Prospects, the 2015 revision”. We extracted the percentage of the total population as constituted by 15 to 24-year-olds in each country and formulated the following list: